Friday, September 26, 2008

What a difference

a year makes, again.

Last weekend was the annual Village School Family BBQ. A year ago, we arrived at the same event, with one month in NJ and one week at school behind us. I was anxious to meet people, see who Caroline was spending her days with, carve out playdates and meet new friends. As soon as we arrived, Caroline was ready to go. Groups of children ran past us, holding hands and laughing. Caroline couldn't navigate the scene. Understanding, as we were feeling a bit the same way, we left and went to a nearby playground.

Fast forward to last weekend. We arrived at the same location and Caroline was gone, out of our sight before we had gotten our name tags. She was off with a small group of friends, running, holding hands and laughing. We tried desparately to keep up with her throughout the night. There was a small pond on this picnic site that the children graviated to and we just weren't comfortable letting them play alone. Perhaps this was really an excuse to keep following. Was it possible that my baby, my clingy and needy baby, didn't need us? That she wanted to play on her own?

At one point, the group was dancing to a DJ who playing loud music in a small picnic pavillion. Rob and I, amazed at the strength that genetics plays in dancing ability (or in our case, lack of dancing ability), stood close to the circle. Caroline kept looking over her shoulder. Not, as usual, making sure we were there but instead it seemed, wondering why we were still there.

A bit later, Rob came back to our table. I had sent him off to check on Caroline. He was smiling and shaking his head. As Rob watched her play, Caroline had moved away, saying, "Dad, I don't need you. I want to play with my friends."

And so it begins...


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