Friday, September 16, 2005

Bye Bye Bapa

After a nice week spent with my parents and watching Kellan interact joyously with them each day, I wonder at the social and emotional cost of living so far from both of our families. He is so happy when he has his grandma and grandpa (or granny and grandad) here to stay. He is easy, cheerful, charming, and a 24 hour pleasure to know. He has a sense of belonging and gains a larger circle of love, trust, and security. He is able to go to any one of four people when he needs something or simply wants to show off his latest trick. He is guaranteed constant rounds of applause and admiration.

When my parents left this morning, Kellan was heartbroken. They were putting on shoes and had bags packed. He realised that they were leaving. He grabbed his shoes and gave them to my dad (now known as "Bapa"), saying "Eshs, eshs" (shoes), hoping that by having his shoes on, he would not be left behind. But when it was time for them to get in the car, he completely lost it. He was pointing at the car while sobbing, saying "I ent at, I ent at" (I want that), begging to be put into his carseat in the car where we'd spent a fun week touring central Illinois with my parents. He would not give them kisses because he did not want anything to distract from his pleas to be let into the car. Eventually, much to everybody's dismay, they had to depart, waving as he sobbed in my arms. When I got him back into the house, he rushed over to his Megablocks (a favourite toy for playing with grandma and grandpa), grabbed two, then ran to the front door asking through his tears, "Ent at? Ent at?" (want that?), hoping that they might come back to play. But of course the driveway was empty, the car was not there, his grandparents were gone, and all that Kellan could do was to fall to the floor in his grief at having been abandoned by the family that he had only been allowed a week to love.

I cried too. I held my little boy and I cried partially because I would miss my parents, but mostly because of the sorrow that their departure had caused him. There is nothing quite so sad as an 18 month old with a broken heart.


betty said...

Oh, poor little guy! Yes, it's so hard to see them when they are so genuinely upset about something like that. I think it's wonderful that he is beginning to develop such a close and loving relationship with both sets of grandparents. My MIL has not even seen Ben yet, and he is nearly 3 years old! :(

Karen said...

We moved away from both my and my husband's parents when our daughter was 8 months old (she is now 2). It was a hard decision (if we didn't move my husband lost his job), and I also really wish she could see her grandparents more. The only upside I have found is that when we visit we really get to spend good quality time together, not just a few hours here and a few hours there...