When we told him Maggie and I were going to leave for a few days, he did not take it well.
All of this reached a climax today at the airport when Maggie and I were attempting to check in and get our boarding passes. Max practically dragged Maggie out of the stroller and tried to climb in it himself. He thought that if he was in the stroller he would get to stay with me.
As we were saying our goodbyes, Max was uncharacteristically clinging with all his might to my legs. I looked down at him to see a look of almost desperation in this eyes. He pleaded with me, "Mommy, don't leave! PLEASE don't leave!"
It broke my heart.
Then I saw myself in my 3-year-old. And I knew exactly how he felt. My entire life right now is summed up in that simple pleading: "Mommy, don't leave!"
Lucas was the one who pointed out the parallel to me, and I couldn't stop thinking about it on my two flights. I replayed all the ways I tried to comfort Maximus today:
Don't worry! We will be together soon!
I am so sorry, Max. I really wish I didn't have to go without you.
Everything will be fine. You're going to have so much fun with Daddy and Gramma Cheryl while I'm away!
Nothing consoled him. All of those things were good and true; but in the end, he just wanted to be with his mom. He couldn't see past the present moment. I can really identify with that right now.
So, I told him that Daddy would take him to the store and buy him a new Lego kit, and he could show it to me when they get to Arkansas next week. He perked up for the first time all day.
If only all of life's heartaches could be patched so easily.