I am home alone now after a whole year, sitting in my living room and hearing what silence sounds like. Today is my little one’s first day in daycare and everyone seems to be asking how he is doing, including me. In the rush and the excitement of the day, no one seems to notice how I am doing. My baby has been inside me for nine months and almost an extension of my body for another 12. It is the first day I don’t have him around me, and I have clearly forgotten what that felt like.
I packed his stuff meticulously last night, labeling his bag, milk bottles, water bottle, diapers, onesies, and hat, all with his name in clear, bold letters. Anyone and everyone should be able to pull out what my baby needs in a jiffy, so he doesn’t miss me. However, I forgot to pack my schedule for today with activities or company, so I don’t miss him. Who am I kidding? No matter what I do, he’ll still be on my mind. It’s time for his meal, it’s time for his sleep, it’s time for a diaper change, or it’s time to play.
I dropped him off this morning in his wonderful carergiver’s lap. I was expecting him to tug at my t-shirt, or pull me close, or resist in some way, but he didn’t. He went from my lap to hers, like he knew that this was meant to be. The dad, the grandma and the aunts are happy to hear from me that he didn’t cry. However, nobody noticed the tears in my eyes as I sat back in my car. Nobody sensed my heavy heart as I spoke to them excitedly over the phone. I am happy he felt so comfortable leaving me as I’m sure he’ll be just fine. However, I am not fine that he was that comfortable. My heart leaving me so unceremoniously just does not seem fair.
I will keep calling them and checking on him to make sure he’s OK. I will smile when I hear that he’s eaten well, or slept well. However, I will selfishly hope that in some way he lets them know that he needs me now. I will pick up my car, and run and get him, and be the “carer” once again. I will smell him again, and see him smile, and hold him tight so my heart can beat once again. I will pamper him, and rock him, and put him to sleep, as tomorrow will be another day just like this.
Days will pass and he will be excited to go to his new life away from home. He will experience the joy of friendship, sharing, and playing with his little mates. Once again, everyone around will be happy to know how well he is doing and what all he is learning. Once again, everyone will forget to see if I have learned to let him go. At this first point of separation, I know there would be many more to come. However, learning the lesson of letting him go will take me a bit more time than just a day.
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