A couple of years ago, probably closer to three, we took a family vacation to visit my mom. While there, we took Gus to a playground. There were four little girls there. I don't remember it all clearly, but I think I was at the other side of the playground, maybe following around my daughter? At any rate the playground had one of those big play sets with a space underneath with some benches and a little table where Gus and his sister had been playing. The little girls decided to play there as well and attempted to play with Gus. I wasn't aware that they were playing some sort of game that involved capturing him, but they began chasing him and he bolted. I caught him before he left the park and got him away from them; he was rather upset.
Why do I bring this up now? Tonight just before bed, he asked me why I left him at the park, and then proceeded to recount his version of that day's events. He thought I had left him and was scared. Since he was being uncharacteristically clear and open with me, I talked to him about it. Then he started to cry and told me that talking about it was making it worse.
I have no idea why it came up tonight or why he's still so upset about it, but the thing that bugs me the most was that he thought I had left him. Tore my heart right out. I'm usually the parent who won't let the kids out of my sight and I've always got people trying to make me 'let go.' Let them sleep over with someone, let someone take them wherever. It is extremely rare that I give in. Hearing something like 'why did you leave me,' will certainly not make me feel any better about doing so. At the rate I'm going, he'll be in college before I let him have his next sleepover.
I wonder how else he sees his life, I really do.