Monday, September 17, 2007

Mama Bear

I think I may be a wee bit overprotective of Luke.

Saturday Juan and I decided to make the looooong trek out to Babies R Us because we had some good coupons and "needed" to buy a few things for the baby. What can I say, we wanted to get out of the house and decided that spending oodles of money on baby toys was as good an excuse as any for a 45 minute drive.

In any case, we packed up the diaper bag, strapped the boy in his carseat, and piled in the car. Juan in the driver's seat, Luke in the back, and me...right next to Luke. "How long are you going to keep riding in the back with him?" Juan asked me. I confess, I thought about answering "Forever" but decided that was probably not what he wanted to hear.

The truth is, I don't especially enjoy riding in back with the bulky carseat, especially since you have to be a contortionist just to get the seatbelt buckled. There's also a lot less elbow room than I prefer, and Juan and I rarely talk much when I'm back there. And yet... I can't shake the feeling that I need to be next to him. Just in case he needs me. Truthfully, Luke would be just fine if I was in the front. After all, no one is sitting next to him when he and I go out on our little adventures during the week and he does just fine. When I have the option of sitting back there, though, I have to do it.

"I don't know, maybe another month" I said after a long pause to consider Juan's original question.

Anyway, the trip was made, baby toys were purchased, and I rode in the backseat with the baby on our way home.

Then yesterday I surprised even myself by reaching a new level of overprotectiveness.

Juan was working all day but it was very slow at the hospital so "working" became "watching TV in his office while twiddling his thumbs." I was going a little stir crazy at home with the baby, so around 4:00 we hopped in the car and went to go visit Daddy at work. We ate potato chips, I watched some of the red carpet show while Juan played with Luke, and fun was generally had by all. Then the time came to drive home. Juan volunteered to take Luke in his car since I wanted to stop by the grocery store to pick up a few things we needed. I agreed, and as I pulled out of the parking lot I realized that this was the first time Luke had been in a car without me. It felt weird and, well, wrong even though he was with Juan. Juan's a careful driver, and in fact he's probably a better driver than I am if you wanted to compare, but it still didn't feel good to be in a different car than my baby.

Still, I wasn't going to be the mom who couldn't be separated from her kid for even 30 minutes. I was, however, the mom who insisted on staying just ahead of the car her baby was riding in for 20+ miles. I couldn't help myself. Juan didn't know what I was doing (though he does now since he reads my blog) but it somehow felt safer that I keep my car ahead of his during that drive. My gut told me to protect my baby, and that was the only way I could think to do it.

So yes, I'm in full-on Mama Bear mode. My dad has joked many times that there's a part of my mom's brain that is always focused on me and my sister, and now that I'm a mother myself I can finally understand exactly what that feels like. I just hope I can manage to loosen up a bit since I'll drive us all crazy if I don't.

1 comment:

Megan said...

If it makes you feel any better, any time J takes off with both the girls in the backseat of his truck, I twinge and pray! Even though I drive around with them all day without giving it a second thought, I still hesitate whenever they ride with anyone but me.

So, there you go, you aren't crazy, but it doesn't get any better with time...