Cocooning Survival Tactic #7:
Gradually emerge from the Cocoon. Do not overstay your welcome.
Still, do not jump back into the real world all at once.
We have unceremoniously begun our own re-entry, venturing out more and more, at a calculated pace.
My cousin recently asked, tongue-in-cheek, how we would know our Little Man was ready… Would he sprout little butterfly wings??
Last week, we popped in for an abbreviated play-date with dear friends. Also adoptive families, each of our precious new children are within a six month span in age.
We attended a jubilant grand-opening of our friends’ new coffee shop location, complete with live music that had Little Man gyrating rhythmically in the Ergo upon my back.
Last night we got to celebrate the second birthday (first in America with his forever family) of Little Man’s special pal. Also from China and born with cleft lip and palate, the family of said pal also enlisted the services of CCAI as their adoption agency during their own process. It was a joy-filled gathering– we feasted authentic Chinese cuisine, family style, honoring his (and our own son’s) first culture. His father recited a touching poem he had penned, leaving almost all in attendance sufficiently misty-eyed.
Today, Husband and I left Little Man (along with his sisters) with our favorite babysitter/neighbor for a much-needed date. Strategically, we elected to depart the first time (because we all concur that my recent visit to the local ER doesn’t count) in the morning, in lieu of a typical evening out. We rose at our normal time, hopped on our bikes, and headed downtown for a delicious breakfast at our favorite local cafe.
Little Man did great. It helped that he is already familiar with our sweet neighbor/babysitter, and that his sisters remained at his side, in our home, for the remainder of our time away. He protested briefly when we left, but was quickly consoled. When we returned, he bounded into our arms with enthusiasm. He then sweetly patted the leg of the sitter, dismissing her with a wave and a “bye-bye” before running back over to us grinning, arms outstretched.
It couldn’t have gone better. He was ready. There is no set amount of time that an adoptive family should Cocoon– it’s best to respond to the cues of your own child versus fixating on a random duration. You will know.