I never thought I'd be one of those mommies who had that question; I'd be eagle-eye-mommy and always know where my kid was playing.
But today I asked, "Where's Ella?"
It seems she's found her independence.
We got to my friend's house for a MOMS Club Swap Meet, and Ella held my hand like we're best friends. But then when I started pawing through the clothes that other MOMS brought, she went around the corner. I looked up, "Where's Ella?"
She came back around the corner.
She kept disappearing into the house or the patio while I talked with friends, ate a bagel and told other people to take her old clothes, please.
It was only when she saw me that she came to keep me company, holding my finger while she walked around, crying and wanting to be picked up, asking for water without saying a word.
Ella is a girl about town.
I kept saying, "She's only been walking for three or four weeks, I'm not used to this."
"But she's doing fine," a friend said.
She was walking on concrete, a little wobbly, "OK, I just can't look," I said, and looked away.
My friend was right--she was fine without me. Not that I could leave her--she has new, strict rules about my departure at any given time--but she could leave me whenever she wanted to go.
It's something I have to get used to.
Ella is free to go.
And I have to let go.