So, yesterday was my son's first unsupervised visitation with his father outside of my home. It was only for 4 hours, and yet the thought of it was so scary for me. Sunday night I hardly slept with worry. I know his father would never harm him, he isn't a bad person, and he is way more lenient than I am so I doubt he will ever even get stern enough to scold him often much less ever spank him. He just doesn't know so much about Theo right now and I was scared of the little things. Theo has a dairy allergy, and so many things we don't even think about have milk products in them. Also, 90% of the foods I give Theo are organic because I am committed to giving my son a diet that is free of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and GEOs (genetically engineered organisms). I realize that is sometimes difficult so at most maybe 10% of the foods I give him are conventional, which I just accept. I also have specific views on Theo watching TV and if he has to (which I'd prefer he didn't), that it not be any programming that isn't age appropriate. So, I say all of this to say I have ways in which I am committed to raising Theo, and I know his father and I are very different. And the scary part is that an unsupervised visitation means that I won't be there to ensure that he is being taken care of the way I would most like for him to be.
This is where Loving Detachment comes in.
I had to remind myself at some point during my "darkest night before the dawn", that all I could ever do was love my son and raise him how I felt was best, and let go of everything else. Of course I am here to be my son's advocate, and if someone is harming my son in ANY way I will take care of them immediately. Aside from that though, he is here to have the experiences he was meant to have, and I have to be careful that my love for him, my innate desire to protect him, doesn't rob him of exactly the experiences he came to this earth to have. So I let go. Nervously, apprehensively, but I did it.
When his father came I had Theo's dinner packed, diapers and wipes in bag, and brought him down to his father. I went over a few things with him (reminded him of the dairy allergy, asked him to bring him back at a certain time so that Theo could keep to his sleep schedule, etc.), kissed my son about a dozen times (which, funny enough, was 10 times more than he usually lets me kiss him), and told him I loved him, and went back upstairs. I walked into my apartment and kept myself from crying. I had to keep myself occupied by watching a silly movie that made me laugh (The Tao of Steve, I recommend it if you are ever looking for comedic distraction). Somehow, I managed.
Somehow, I will continue to.