You know that saying? You don't know what you've got until it's gone? Yeah, well, I've never had to even step aboard the mommy separation anxiety train until now. Really. Five years and four months and I've only had the experience of crying in a parking lot a couple of times...one of which was this morning. I feel as though I should say thank you to my husband...and say something profound about being a mother to the amazing creature that is my son. But all I feel right now is raw emotion.
You see, my baby boy is officially a kindergarten student. He went with smiles and excitement...and forgot to kiss me goodbye.
I went out to the parking lot and promptly started to cry.
Wha...??? After all this time, I'm going to cry?!?!
At fifteen months old, Sam started going to a daycare run by a mother-daughter team that I knew from my childhood neighborhood. In fact, I used to babysit the daughter when I was in high school and she was just a wee elementary school child. It was our good fortune that they decided to open their business at just the right time so that I never had to face the dilemma of mothers all around the world...leaving their baby with strangers. It was, for me, like leaving Sam with extended family I knew I could trust.
And, of course, I rarely had to face the dreaded drop-off at daycare. That was Steve's territory since his work was geographically closer to the daycare. Since Sam was 15 months old, Steve has dealt with all the little quirks of the morning drop-off routine. The days when Sam cried...the days when Sam ran off without a backward glance...the days when Sam gave him a big kiss and told him, "I love you Daddy. I'll see you tonight," with more certainty than we adults had on some of our rougher days.
I have been spoiled. I realize it now. I mean, Steve would tell me all about it, but I didn't REALLY understand. (Thank you my love. You have made so many of our dreams a reality and I can never adequately express to you how much you mean to me...to us.)
As I drove from the elementary school to work this morning, I could feel Baby Myles kicking and rolling in my belly as if to say, "Hey, I'm still here...I'm still a baby (or, at least, the promise of one)." The past and the present and the future all together this morning in one little kindergarten drop-off. I feel as though I'm Alice and I've just fallen down the rabbit hole...
I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is 'Who in the world am I?' Ah, that's the great puzzle!