I remember as a young child I co-slept and I remember being very very young and making the choice to snuggle up to my father one night when I usually snuggled with my mother. It felt like a powerful choice to choose to favor my father for a while when I was usually very much attached to my mother. I remember falling asleep in the new and different place and how everything felt and smelled like a different sort of safety and comfort. I remember falling asleep feeling very strong and independent. Snuggled in my daddy’s arms.
When you think of “independence” do you think of being left alone, ignored, having no choice but to figure things out? Or do you think of strong powerful choices that you make to move beyond your comfort level even if it’s by a little bit?
As a young child it was so strong and powerful when I figured out how to lift my butt for diaper changes. As a young child it was so strong and powerful when I figured out how to run and get the band aids when my I scraped my knee- even though I was still crying while I went to get them. As a young child it was strong and powerful to choose to snuggle up to my daddy instead of my mommy that one night so long ago.
It wasn’t strong and powerful when I scraped my knee and needed someone and no one was there and I was scared. It wasn’t strong and powerful when I got lost in the store and didn’t know what to do or who to ask to help me find my mommy.
I’ve seen my daughter make strong and powerful choices for her small and vulnerable size. As an adult they look to me like shifts in her level of dependency. For her they must feel so huge and strong.
Strength grows. Independence grows. Just like little bodies grow.
I will watch with adult-sized patience while your child-sized independence takes its shape. I will wait this out so that you can have that positive empowering experience of choosing to stretch your comfort and choosing to be powerful in all the small and tiny ways that feel so huge to you right now.