It's been a rough week. After four months of taking care of my baby 24/7, we sent him off to daycare. I knew it would be hard. People, heck even strangers, told me so.
Our childcare journey began back in November in the beginning of my second trimester. Thank goodness friends tipped me off to look for daycare if that was the decided route. It was in our household. And just in our neighborhood, there were nine options, so we researched, edited our shortlist, took facility tours and landed on our selection. We were pumped. Oh, but not so fast, we were 41st on the wait list NINE MONTHS in advance. Crazy, right?! Needless to say, all worked out with our top choice.
Last week, we visited the classroom, met the teachers and dropped off a little gift (Starbucks gift card in a cute "apple" pouch, gum and a real apple).
Sunday night, I packed his bag, prepped his food, applied labels and checked off the needed school items.
Anxiety and incessant questions were in full swing - what if he hated it? What if he didn't eat? What if he didn't remember us?!
The morning went smoothly. My husband and I were greeted by the school manager, a friendly "Welcome Jayden" chalk sign and reviewed classroom protocols. All the while, he was happy as a clam - looking around at the colors and new friends. I touched his soft skin, gave many kisses, handed him off to the teacher and waved goodbye. A fellow class mom approached as we left, perhaps sensing my anxiety or worry. She shared; "he will love it... my daughter grunts with excitement every time we near the class and I'm convinced she crawled early because she saw the other babies. And the school and teachers are great." It's amazing how a few words can make such an impact.
As I nodded and thanked her, my eyes welled up as my husband and I strolled out for coffee. What would I do without him? Another transition, another chapter of this mom thing was closing. My as-needed daily weekday snuggles, random daytime dance parties, afternoon walks and hugs with my sweet boy dissolved. He was embarking on a now nearly permanent "school" journey without me.
I was grateful to find solace in the tech-forward school App where teachers post ongoing activity updates. As tears were in full effect as I sipped my caffeine, the App notification shared that he had went down for a nap, and while I settled and enjoyed an outdoor lunch, he had done tummy time (with a photo to boot!), had a wet diaper and some giggles.
In my yoga class to air out my sadness, I found myself counting down the hours to pickup. I eagerly waited for my husband on the school corner to see our man. And he received a glowing first day report in addition to the App updates - he flipped over, was so expressive, happy and ate very well. The teachers said he was a good baby.
I was beaming and relieved. Best of all, when I knelt down to him, he smiled up at me. And in that moment, my anxiousness and concern melted away... as if he was saying; "it's ok mom, I'm great, you and dad made a good choice."