This past weekend, Olivia and I stayed home while my husband and Jackson headed out on our family vacation without us! (Every year we go away with my in laws for the weekend and attend a Bocci tournament/huge party at his parent’s friends’ house and then we go to our cabin for a week.)
Partly due to a stomach bug that I had and partly due to the ridiculous amount of work I had to do, we decided that Olivia and I would stay home for the weekend. Today, my hubby is driving all the way home to pick up Olivia and me and we will head back to pick up Jackson from my in laws and then head on to our family’s cabin.
When I told Jackson our plan, he fussed a little. But when I mentioned his cousins had already headed up for the trip with his grandparents a day ahead of him, he lost it! He went into a full fit, wailing.
The thought of leaving me had only brought out a whimper – but miss out on a day and night with his cousins and breakfast in the morning (yes, he howled for about 30 minutes about the breakfast he was going to miss) and he was devastated.
While I was a little wounded that a missed meal brought more emotion than a family vacation without his mom and baby sister, I couldn’t help but smile at the differences between Jackson and me.
When I was a child, my separation anxiety from my mom and Susan was so severe it was crippling. I didn’t give two hoots about missing anyone else – all I needed was my mom and my twin.
Jackson, on the other hand, has inherited my anxious tendencies, but he has completely different triggers. He is obsessed with being with friends and being liked and accepted. (The teen years are going to be challenging with this one!) While he is incredibly loving and attached to me, he also can say good bye and have fun without missing me or worrying about when I will return.
I am so relieved that Jackson doesn’t have to deal with separation anxiety. I remember the anguish even driving in a separate vehicle from my mom caused me. (And now, I have separation anxiety being away from my kids!)
I can drop Jackson off at school, or he can drive away with his dad for a trip without me, and he won’t worry and miss me. Like he said to me once, “I don’t really miss people. I am sad for a bit and then I am okay.” And he really is.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. He will have stresses and anxieties, but they just won’t be about when mom is coming back – which was the constant theme of worry in my childhood.
Jackson is a really interesting mix of personalities. In some ways he is so like his dad. In other ways he is really similar to me. And then the other third – oh, he is just straight Jackson.
What about your kids? Do they struggle with the same kinds of fears and worries you had when you were a child?