It happened this morning. On our way out of the house, I reached out for Emmy’s hand so I could walk with her across the front lawn to our car. She reached her little hand back toward mine, smiling, but before our hands actually met, Emmy did a u-turn. She wanted to hold Dada’s hand.
Sure I laughed and played it cool. Whatevs, Em. No biggie. Dada’s #1 – woo hoo! Daddy rocks!
Let’s be honest. It kinda hurt. Kinda a lot.
I’ve been preparing for this moment, and there have been lots of signs that it was going to happen. Emmy’s world has been slowly shifting from mama-centric to dada-centric, and whereas I used to be the sun, the moon and the stars to her, I’m now just the moon and the stars.
Of course, I understand her love of Dada. I mean, after all, I MARRIED the guy. He’s funny, handsome, and loving, and he can definitely hold her up in the air higher than I ever could. He throws a ball better than mama (though I’m pretty good at it myself), makes better funny faces, and has strong arms that give great big hugs.
And after being MVP in my daughter’s life for the past 15 months, I should be HAPPY to share the limelight, right? I mean, I should welcome the freedom that comes with being able to leave her with Dada without fear that she will collapse into a fit of tears and temper tantrums. I should be glad that she and daddy can play happily together while I get chores done, go shopping, or attend a Zumba class. I should be glad that she wants Dada to change her diapers. All that is great news, right?
It IS great news. But it is news that is going to take time for me to absorb and get used to.
When Emmy was first born, at first I was overwhelmed with having such a small being depend on me for EVERYTHING. We were totally attached, bound together. I was her food and shelter. Dada wanted to help, and was as hands-on as he could be, but try as he may, he couldn’t be Mama. Dada was frustrated that he was always playing “second fiddle”. And although at times I was frustrated by my lack of freedom, by being needed so much, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love being the center of Emmy’s world.
Well, it seems I’m no longer EVERYTHING. I’m Mama. And I am really, honestly glad that Dada is getting the love and attention he has been waiting patiently for, for the past sixteen months. I’ll get used to this new role, just as I had to get used to being Emmy's everything. It will just take time. And yeah, maybe a few tears too.