Nearly three years ago, in Los Angeles, I joined a Mom’s group to hack through the thick weeds of isolation that often grow out of first-time Motherhood.
I remember sitting there in a circle with eight or nine other shell-shocked women as we stared at our newborns laying on a brightly colored parachute, listened to the instructor sing “Wheels On The Bus” and drifted off, daydreaming of sleep that spanned longer than two hours, a peace with the bittersweet end of our old lives, and a clear understanding of the roles in our new ones.
Once our infants hit the ripe old age of ten or eleven weeks, the syllabus contained the topic of preschool selection.
“Oh, for the love of God!” I thought.
“Can I at least wait for my ovaries to settle back into their previous positions before sending my kid to school?” (Which they did, by the way…about a year sooner than anticipated)
From that day forward, I stressed about preschools, almost daily. Once we moved across the country, I learned that many of our surrounding schools had waiting lists dozens of names long.
We found the perfect place. Deposits were in and forms were filled out before it occurred to us that Zachary had not yet been left anywhere.
As a last-minute effort to acclimate him to such experiences, we tried the church nursery.
Screaming and wailing ensued, along with a possible escape attempt.
I warned the teacher. I warned the parents. I warned myself.
But, as I always say…
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
OK. I didn’t say that. Mark Twain did, but we really are so similar, Mark and I.
This A.M. – A brief synopsis –
“Zachary, we’re leaving now.”
“Bye!” he answered, his back already turned and scooting off to show his teacher his “All About Me” poster.
We walked down the hall away from his classroom, at a loss for how to fill the endless span of two whole hours with only one child, as I pondered these burning questions…
1.)When on earth did my baby become this little boy?
And perhaps more importantly,
2.) What other nonsense do I heap onto our everyday lives that will just work itself out?
This afternoon he told us,
“I was a little but scared and I missed Mommy, Daddy and Isabelle, but I kept my tears in my eyes and my cries in mouth”
I must assure you that we told him repeatedly that it was ok to be scared, nervous and sad, and it was even ok to cry. So, please believe me when I say his choice to man up and stifle his emotions stems from deep within his own DNA and from nothing taught by either of us.