Marla Sokoloff’s Blog: Mastering the Art of Letting Go
A warm welcome back to our celebrity blogger Marla Sokoloff!
Since audiences first got to know her at age 12 as Gia on Full House, Sokoloff has had many memorable TV roles — Jody on Party of Five, Lucy on The Practice, Claire onDesperate Housewives — as well as turns on the big screen in Whatever It Takes, Dude, Where’s My Car? and Sugar & Spice.
Sokoloff, 33, most recently played Dani on ABC Family’s The Fosters
She wed her husband, music composer Alec Puro, in November 2009 and the couple — plus pup Coco Puro — make their home in Los Angeles.
First trip to Disneyland! – Courtesy Marla Sokoloff
My daughter’s life is moving fast — like, blink-and-you-will-miss-it-all speed. It’s moving at such a rapid pace, it’s starting to really bum me out. Some days I want to hit the pause button and just hold on to her like this forever.
Her baby days are long gone and honestly, sometimes I see more of a big kid than a toddler. We now have full on conversations where we talk about princesses (Rapunzel is the current favorite — sorry Ariel!) and discuss the day’s events (most likely the park, eating grilled cheese and playing with said Princesses.)
She’s strong, stubborn, outgoing and doesn’t take nonsense from anyone. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve never met a funnier little lady in my life. Feel free to chalk that last statement up to unabashed favoritism.
Princess life – Courtesy Marla Sokoloff
She can feed herself, pretty much bathe herself (supervised of course!) and enjoys having her alone time (or as Elliotte likes to tell me, “Mom, I’m having a moment“) while reading books and playing in her room. Of course I realize that this self-sufficiency and enviable confidence is a good thing. It means that I have guided her in the right direction so far, and I’m not messing this mom thing up as bad as I thought!
But, a few weeks ago a major shift occurred in our home. Elliotte will no longer let Mommy leave the house or even take a shower without a serious meltdown. Twenty-eight months in, and we are deep in the throes of separation anxiety.
Most outings sans Elliotte end with her clinging to my leg and wailing like I’ve never heard before. Nothing pains me more than to have her ripped off of me so I can go to work. Or even just to go to the gym! I get in my car and hold back tears whilst feeling like the worst mom ever. (For more on how I feel about the ever present Mommy Guilt read this.)
When Elliotte turned 2 in February, she graduated to the big girl ballet class. That means, parents are no longer allowed in the room so that the teacher (the wonderful and ridiculously patient, Miss Kelly) can have the students’s full attention.
We get to (have to?) watch outside through a two-way mirror. My little ballerina danced into that room, waved goodbye, and plied away without skipping a beat. I was completely blown away by how easy it was for her. Moments later, she stripped down naked for the class because her tutu was “itchy,” but that’s a story for another day.
Last week in ballet, there were tears. Many tears. She wanted Mommy. No part of her wanted ballet. It was heartbreaking. We immediately left ballet and had a good cry over some frozen yogurt instead.
Out of PJs! – Courtesy Marla Sokoloff
In July, my little girl will be starting preschool. Yes, preschool. I can barely even think about being away from her while she colors, paints, and frolics with other children while I sit in my car and clock watch through tears. (Yes I’m an actress, but this is truth not drama.)
With this newfound anxiety — coming from both of us at this point — I can’t help but wonder if she’s ready for this major shift in her life.
With every milestone we reach I feel this intense mix of joy and satisfaction with a very strong dose of sadness. I will never change Elliotte’s diaper again. I may change another child’s diaper, but not Elliotte’s and that, as it turns out, is a very tough pill for me to swallow.
I guess I’m just now starting to realize that as soon as Elliotte was born, I began learning the art of letting go.
I let go of the newborn Elliotte. I let go of the breastfeeding Elliotte. I let go of the bottle-drinking Elliotte. I let go of the crawling Elliotte. I let go of the baby Elliotte. I let go of the 1-year-old Elliotte. I let go of the diaper-wearing Elliotte.
One day I will need to let go of the living-at-home Elliotte. (Insert sounds of fear and dread here!)
There are so many Elliottes that I will need to learn to let go of … the very thought of her growing up and leaving the nest simply leaves a lump in my throat.
Beginning of summer fun – Courtesy Marla Sokoloff
Parents, weigh in on this: How do you/did you deal with separating from your children? And did your child have a hard time separating from you?
If you have any helpful tips with separation anxiety and getting through it, I want to hear from you! I know these next few months are going to be tough on both of us and your tips are always so helpful.
I know I’m not alone in feeling completely schizophrenic when it comes to these nuggets growing. One part of me is so proud of her for growing up into this precious little lady and the other part almost relishes her still needing me.
I wanted to end this blog by telling you about an amazing organization that has the ability to change many children’s lives. Milk & Bookies is a nationwide non-profit organization that has a mission to get books to children who don’t have any as well as exposing children to how incredible reading can be!
Elliotte and I attended an event for Milk & Bookies in May and had such a wonderful time—we are really excited to share this awesome cause with you all.
You can even host your very own Milk & Bookies party! For more information please check out: milkandbookies.org.
Milk and Bookies event – Courtesy Marla Sokoloff
Leave a comment below or find me on twitter @marlasok.
– Marla Sokoloff