This last weekend, we were invited to go to a semi-professional hockey game. Although Ethan had loved going to his cousin's hockey game, we didn't think he was ready for this one. Loud music, long periods, buzzers, horns, cheering, etc. So, my mom offered to babysit Ethan while Corey & I went out with our friends.
My mom thought it would be best if she came to our home to watch Ethan because it would be easier to put him to bed. He RARELY is able to fall asleep anywhere other than his own bed. So, as we were getting ready to leave our house, I told Ethan that Mommy & Daddy were going bye-bye, but he was going to have a fun night with Grandma. TYPICALLY, Ethan doesn't even care that we are leaving. If he acknowledges us at all, it's with a quick wave and a "Bye Mom!" He is usually too into his own thing to care about what we are doing. :0)
However, this time was different. After I told him we were going to leave, he began to get weepy?! Then, as I was by the front door putting my coat on, Ethan walked across the room to me, looked up at me with red, tear-filled eyes, and said, "Mommy to stay with me?" Oh, wow....
I remained brave & fought back my own tears. I reassured him that he was indeed going to have a special night just him & Grandma....an indeed rare treat. I redirected him back to his numbers game, and my mom hunkered down to engage in play with him. I quickly went out the front door.
Once the door was closed, I couldn't hold it together any longer. This moment that just happened between Ethan & I had NEVER happened before this night! I was a mess with tears. I wanted to run back in, and almost savor the connection that I just felt with my child. This was true emotion that he was, not only experiencing, but communicating to me. He was giving me full eye contact, using his words, and experiencing a new emotion.....and oddly I didn't want that to end. I could feel his sadness, and I wanted to immediately scoop him up & comfort him. In that moment, our eyes & hearts connected as mother & son......something that I can only recall happening a handful of times...and I wanted to go back in & hold my little boy.
But, my logical side kicked in, and reminded me of how getting out of the house is good for him & me. He needs experience life without Corey & I, and begin to feel comfortable with it. If something were to ever happen to Corey or I, his world would be flipped upside down, so it is good for him to bond with members in our family as well as our friends. Plus, this mama needs time not being the sole caretaker! It's good for me and Corey to not be Mom & Dad for awhile & just be Husband & Wife. And, by the time I got into the car, my mom was texting me that Ethan had already stopped crying and was playing with his toys. Moment gone.
So, I'm claiming this as a social victory! It is a moment that will be forever in my memory...like the first time he said, "Mom" several months after turning one. An emotional connection with my child who typically experiences his emotions within his own self. It really was a beautiful moment.....despite the heartbreak it caused his mommy. :0)
He did have a great night with Grandma, and we had a great time at the hockey game. We were about 5th row, and my 5 year old nephew came with my sister & her husband. He just started playing ice hockey, and they thought he would enjoy seeing grown men play the game. He got a game puck, a t-shirt with the hockey team's name on it, and Dippin' Dots. He also was able to stick his hand out to the players as they were coming in & out of their locker room in order to get LOTS of high-fives from the players.
Interestingly enough, he had lots of meltdowns from the noise!!! When they would score a goal, a loud siren would sound. That scared him, and he cried for a long time. He also had a hard time with the loudness of the music, announcements, and the jumbo-tron. After the first period, he seemed to have overcome his sensitivities to the noise, but I'm sooooo glad we decided to not bring Ethan. And, honestly, after seeing my nephew's reactions to the noises, I don't think I will be taking Ethan to a semi-pro hockey game in the years to come...even with his headphones. It was just way too loud. In fact, when we walked into the hockey arena, my husband turns to me and says, "Did you bring Ethan's headphones? 'Cuz I'm gonna need 'em." LOL......oh my! I guess we will just stick to our two nephews' little league ice hockey games for now!