I've caught myself doing something over the past few months.
As K has grown, we have a short period of time (usually in the mornings) of independent play. Typically this is after breakfast while I have some cleaning up to do in the kitchen. I set her down on her play mat in the dining/play room and she plays with her toys.
In the beginning months she wasn't super happy to be alone. She didn't really know how to "play" with her toys, and I spent most of my time going back and forth from the kitchen and the play room. But as she has gotten a few months older, she has come to enjoy independent playtime. I often find that she is much more apt to practice her developing motor skills to reach new milestones when I'm not right there with her.
Nonetheless, back to my beginning statement, I've caught myself doing something as this new liking of IP (independent play) has surfaced.
I peek around the corner.
Yes, I know. Every mom has done this and most do it several times in a day like me. However, I've noticed that this simple action of peeking around the corner brings to light so many emotions as I watch my beautiful daughter play.
Love: This is first because I love my daughter. This goes without saying. Watching a mini me discovering her new skills and enjoying time with a monkey rattle (I'm no fan of monkeys btw) brings a flutter to my heart that I feel only other mommas will understand.
Pride: With the love I feel as I watch my daughter, I feel pride. This is MY daughter learning all these cool things. It's MY daughter who just learned to pick up the monkey rattle by the ear with her thumb and forefinger. MY daughter is in there playing contently. Every mom smiles with pride for their children as they learn; even the small milestones that we as adults have taken for granted.
Sadness: How is this possible? Because I realize my daughter is enjoying herself, by herself. She has her toys laid out before her and she beats two stacking cups together. She is happy and content without me. It's a small, quickly vanishing feeling of sadness, but it's there. I partly wish she would look around the room for me or cry out for me. I'll admit it, I like to be needed by my daughter. She needs me most of the day, but for those 20 minutes that she is happy in play I'm not needed. *tears*
Happiness: Ultimately, before I leave the corner I'm peeking behind, I feel an unexplainable joy. I'm happy my daughters happy. And for a small moment... the drool that got in my mouth while playing airplane, the poop I had to spray off her cloth diaper that got all over the bathroom, the spit up on my carpet I had to clean (for the fifth time in a day), the fussy/teething days that never end, and the crying that can make your heart break into a million pieces...is all forgotten while peeking around the corner.
Cheers to peeking around the corner mommas!