The One Where I Stayed

Last week I wrote about leaving Maddie at her friend’s birthday party.  I wrote about how I should have stayed.

This morning, I took Maddie to a class at the local library.  The teacher greeted us warmly and said to me, “You can leave.  This is small class.  Go ahead and get some things done.”  Maddie quickly grabbed my hand.  She looked up at me, tears already filling her eyes, and whispered, “Mommy, please stay.  I don’t know anybody here.  Please don’t leave.”  Just like at the birthday party, she was feeling anxious.  Just like at the birthday party, I was the only parent there.  Just like at the birthday party, I knew she could handle it by herself.

But this time I stayed.

I sat off to the side of the room while the kids gathered on the carpet for story time.  The teacher read a twisted fairy tale based on Little Red Riding Hood.  Maddie listened intently on the fringe of the circle.  I listened, too, and Maddie was happy.

I sat at the table and watched Maddie create her project, the Never-ending Notepad.  I watched her choose her materials and color carefully.  She loves doing anything crafty, and I love watching her.  The notepad turned out great, and Maddie was happy.


I sat in a chair as they played with a giant parachute.  They danced and sang and lifted and ran and laughed.  I watched Maddie take turns and smile.  Kids always love a giant parachute.  It looked so fun, and Maddie was happy.


I was the only parent who stayed… but Maddie was happy.


18 thoughts on “The One Where I Stayed

  1. Those pictures are adorable! You perfectly captured that uncertainty we feel as parents. Should we stay or should we go? From the smile on her little face, it’s clear she was so glad you stayed.

  2. I think these decisions…should I stay or should I go…is one of the hardest things as a a mom. No matter how old they get, that decision is always on a mom’s mind. Love your pictures too.

  3. Maddie will grow up and leave you. She will be able to do this because she knows you are there if she needs you. I had a very shy clingy daughter who is now the farthest away from me. These moments are precious and mean so much.

  4. Cute pictures; great use of the comforting come-back. “…but Maddie was happy.”
    In the end, today, that’s what matters. So artful how you built the piece around cushioning her little heart.

  5. I’m so glad you took this opportunity and stayed. I was so happy when I saw how this piece was going – it’s obvious how happy Maddie is! And, it’s also obvious how happy it made you. That’s what it’s all about. Happiness.

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