Today's post is inspired by Juliana at A Blonde Walks Into A Blog. It brought tears to my eyes, so if you want a good-hearted mommy moment, go check it out at the link above.
I remember the first week I dropped Austin off at daycare. I was just beginning my clinicals in the dental hygiene program; something I'd waited 2 years for. I had interviewed the daycare director, and had a little tour, met the teachers & caregivers. I thought it was a nice place but I didn't really have anything to compare it to, so I went with it.
I nearly dropped out of college that week. I cried everyday on my way to school. It ripped my heart out to take my 5 month old baby boy there. Nothing against them, but I was the one who spent all day, everyday with him until that point. If I wasn't with him, his daddy was. Oh it was awful. I remember telling myself, "Sarah, if you don't just get over it, you'll never give him the kind of life he deserves..." I told myself over & over in those car rides that I HAD to do it, otherwise, what else would I do??? I couldn't stay at my crappy waitressing job forever. I HAD to do something. Make SOMETHING of myself, not for myself, for him. It wasn't even a choice.
As time goes by, it got easier. He loved it. Still does. But there's never, ever, EVER been a day where I could just walk him in, say bye and leave. I've ALWAYS had to hand him off to someone. He needs held & cuddled. Or he WILL run after me. Until last Friday.
Last Friday, I walk him in like always, and he sees a pal playing with some toy, and whispers "Mommy? Can I play with that toy he has?" And I said, "Well, maybe he'll share with you. You can ask him." And the little boy walked up to Austin and offered for him to play. Austin took the toy, and began to play. And I stood there. And then I thought, maybe I should try to walk away. So I did. I turned and took 2 steps, turned back around. He was still playing. I May just get away, I thought. No, he'll come running in a second when he realizes I left. I get to the door, I look again. He's not following me. I walk outside. Down the sidewalk. Looking over my shoulder every 2 or 3 steps. He's not following. There's a lot of cars coming in & out of the parking lot at this point. Good God, I think, he's going to come running out those doors, right into the parking lot. I keep looking. All the way out to my truck. I keep looking. I get in the truck. I look out the window. No one. I drive away. My little boy is growing up. He didn't need me today. I didn't even say goodbye. I felt bad. I felt weird. Like something was missing. I think about that first week of daycare. How I cried when I left. And how we got to this point. Time goes so fast.
For the record, that all must have been a fluke. Because I def. had to hand him off to a teacher yesterday and today. lol We also got his yearly evaluation report today, in which he received an S- for the 'separates easily from parents' part. Yeah, I don't care. It also claimed he was right-handed. (Or so his teacher says, but I tried to politely tell her not to fuck up my left handed pitcher. He's a lefty. He's not both. Nor is he a righty. He's a lefty.)