As soon as we crossed the threshold tears formed in Jenn’s eyes. I wasn’t surprised. I was getting choked up looking at her. “Let’s go quick” she said. And out the door we went.
“Want me to drive?” I said.
She handed me the keys without a word.
The conversation for the next mile consisted of “take a left here”, “right”, and “where’s the parking?” It was daylight and for the first time in three months we were alone. Penelope was playing with her aunt Stephanie and Charlie in his playroom. She was lost in world of tea cups, Chinese hand puppets, and pure imagination. We felt sure she didn’t realize we were gone. We were right.
Thursday afternoon Stephanie asked us if we wanted to have dinner at Manchester Arms while she watched Penelope. After some delay we accepted the invitation with trepidation. Not because Stephanie is incapable. Just fear. The fear that our child would encounter harm simply by being out of our sight.
Suppressible? Not a chance.
This was an exercise in letting go. With the exception of naps, Penelope has not left our collective sight for three months. Tonight we were voluntarily breaking contact.
At dinner our conversation focused on blogging and what the latest neuroscience research is revealing. I told her there’s no need to wonder why Penelope doesn’t heed us. She can’t reason. I think of the stupid and unreasonable things I did for the first 20 years of life and I believe the science.
Just before we leave I tell Jenn her transformation prior to getting Penelope until now is amazing, more than I could have hoped for, knowing the well of emotion it will stir up.
After dinner we returned to Stephanie’s. Penelope, as you can see, had a great time.
Stephanie, Charlie, and Penelope put on a puppet show, sang, and played with a toy cash register. Apparently she had to be lured out of the play room to eat dinner!
As we were returning home I told Jenn I would much rather Penelope not care we were gone than the alternative. I read so many messages from the adoption message board about children with attachment issues. My heart goes out to those parents. We are fortunate.
We are also fortunate we have someone more than willing to watch Penelope. Someone who will fill her life with more love and care. Someone to help us nourish her soul. Thank you Stephanie.
Before bringing Penelope home Jenn was concerned how having a child would affect us. We had heard so many stories of marriage bonds weakened by the addition of a child. In some cases to the breaking point. We had no idea what life would be like when we returned from China.
Well, our lives are amazing after returning. Having Penelope is like having the saturation set to 11. Our lives were in color, now they are in Technicolor.
We can’t imagine living without her smile, her laughter, or not going into her room and saying “GOOD MORNING!” or the nightly routine of reading “The Going To Bed Book” before she gets in her crib.
The first hurdle has been cleared. She survived outside of our supervision. Maybe a movie next time?