Ever try sneaking out of the house without saying goodbye to your kid? Just don’t want the waterworks, the tantrums, the “you said you’d never leave mes?” Yes, saying goodbye, even when you’ll be gone only 20 minutes, can be a rather unpleasant affair. I get it. I didn’t want to do it either, but just recently, now that my daughter is 4 years old, I’ve started reaping the always-say-goodbye-to-your-kid benefits. Yes, it took 4 full years.
I wrote on this topic a year ago (“When You Gotta Go…) and this is an update of sorts, more results of this little experiment called Parenthood. I was told by a very wise mom to always say goodbye. Start when your child is an infant—when they give you that blank stare—and continue on when they’re toddlers—when the stare becomes a roof-raising scream. Stay the course, keep saying your goodbyes.
A year ago my daughter was pretty good about letting me leave; her bottom lip stuck out a bit and she usually cried for 5 minutes after I left. Not bad at all, but the guilt of her sad goodbye ate away at me. Last weekend my husband and I escaped for 24 hours while Grandma stayed with the daughter. When, with our bags in hand, we told her goodbye, she threw her arms around us and told us to have fun then went right on playing.
Wow. I guess it finally sunk in: “mama always comes back.” No waterworks, no “you said you’d never leave mes,” just “have fun.” And… we did.