I think I’m missing that one mom-gene (not to be confused with my pre-baby jeans that I’m missing) — the one that makes you weep hysterically when your child walks through the door and into the hallowed halls of whatever pre-school/daycare/nanny that you choose to send them to. I realized that it was missing this past week when we sent JL to preschool. Official preschool that is – well as official as things get when you’re 2.
As I walked through the door and back to my car, friends and coworkers asked me – “How are you holding up?” and I felt a need to make an excuse or a joke. “Well he’s not going to war, just preschool” or “Oh, well… you know… I’m worried- but he’ll be okay…” Don’t get me wrong, I love and adore my son. He’s fantastic and funny and smart and perfect etc.. (not all the time but for the most part he’s a great kid). But I took the time, walked the schools, vetted them… had spreadsheets dedicated to them… I did my homework. I knew where he would be and checked credentials etc. I am efficient. And he needs to be around other kids. He needs some kid-to-kid interaction and some structure to prep him for what school is going to be like. (And before anyone wonders how I could be so unfeeling as to send this perfect little angel spawn into school all day- it should be noted that he goes 2 days a week and I’m off of work early so that I can pick him up and we can bask in the glow of each other’s pristine life force, ok?) The reality is (for us at least), that he’s going to go to school at some point. He’s going to have to leave the house and learn some things. We’re not home schoolers, and we’re pretty into this whole “educating your child” thing that’s going around.
The funny thing is though, I would have put money on the fact that I was going to be an emotional mess. I anticipated me needing a long checklist of his progress reports through the day to make sure that his nose didn’t run a second longer than necessary. That he would have his own snuggler to hold him and scratch his back to sleep. That I would secretly install cameras in the school so that I could watch him at all hours of the day – thus obliterating my job because I couldn’t focus in meetings. I SOBBED the first few times I took him to my parents house and left for work – my parents!!! The people I call daily and have dinner with weekly. I called my husband and wept like a baby at how I was terrible and maybe if we ate nothing but ramen I could stay home with the baby and we could afford the mortgage. Obviously – I got over that, but when I took JL to school I didn’t cry, I didn’t weep, hell- I didn’t do much more than to check my phone when the teacher texted me to let me know everything was great and JL was having a blast.
So I’m curious as to who else out there is with me? Were you a crier? A realist? Did your first day at preschool go the way you thought? Because at the moment, the only thing I’m crying about over here is my long gone pre-baby mom-jeans (Hello Mom-Bod!).