For the last 2 years I have been watching a little boy. He was 9 months when he started coming and is now 2 1/2 yrs old. At first he came just 3 days a week and then the last 6 months or so he has come almost full time.
I've made the decision to stop watching him starting next Fall and I'm amazed how hard this is. Turns out I've fallen in love with this little guy. The last few months he has been in a terrible stage of independence, aggression and will power. It's totally appropriate especially considering that his mom was about to have a baby but it was very hard. Katherine and he would just fight and fight most of the time. I complained a bit about it to anyone who would listen.
But, now that he's home with his family and the new baby has come (yay!), I find I miss him greatly. His mom says that he views himself as a part of our family. Turns out, so do we. He loves seeing Matt and demands hugs anytime Katherine is getting one. He called me Mommy until just recently - which did make outings easier but always made me a little uneasy. I knew I wouldn't watch him forever so I didn't want to really love him as much as one of my own.
But, I do love him. I do care about him. And right now, I'm heartbroken about breaking this special connection we have. Oh, we'll still see him. I thought his mom might refuse to speak to me ever again but she is understanding and compassionate. She has also become a close friend.
I'm so thankful for all the time I've been able to spend with this special guy. I'm going to miss him.