Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Preschool: The Next Frontier

I just dropped Moose off at school for the first time, and I'm writing this from a Starbucks about a mile and a half away.

I am entirely too far away from my baby.

Except he's not a baby.

He's a boy, a fully grown boy, and he's taken over my baby like some kind of evil pod person from outer space, inhabiting the body where my baby used to be.

This suuuuuuuuuuucks!

But here's the thing that is messing with my head more than leaving my son in the care of someone else on a regular basis: I didn't cry.

Now if you know me, you know that I openly claim crying as my "superpower". I am a crier. It used to bug the hell out of my parents and they tried to get me to not cry so much as an emotional outlet when I was little. Of course, that only made me cry more. It wasn't until I journeyed through therapy as a young adult that I claimed my ability to be quickly moved to tears as a gift. I have the gift of a tender, sensitive heart. I love big and I feel deep emotions. As a result I am usually attuned to the emotional needs of those close to me. Coming to that realization made me a little resentful of all the times my folks tried to hush my crying when I was little. Instead of nurturing my sensitive heart and bringing out the best in my natural tendencies, they tried to squash them. That experience was a hurdle for me to overcome, all those years of being invalidated only to find that not only could I use my superpower of crying for good but also it was nothing to be ashamed of.

So anyways, I am quick to cry. Except not this morning. Even as I've traced over and over the morning: putting his things in his new cubby, showing him where to hang his backpack and coat, saying goodbye as he pretty much ignored me because he was playing with the other kids, watching him through the window as I walked away...I still haven't been able to muster up a tear. It's not that I don't care. I'm excited for him to transition into this next stage in life. I miss him. It is very weird to be somewhere without him. I feel very confident in our choice of preschool for him and I feel very comfortable that his sweet spirit will be nurtured and respected there.

I still feel like the Worst Mother In The World for not crying. All of my Mommy Sensibilities tell me that I should be crying. I can't recall how many people told me to bring tissues, everybody! But...nothin'. I don't feel like "Woo hoo! I'm FREE!" but I also don't feel like "WAAAAAAH, MY BABY, MY BABY!!!!" which I kind of thought I would. Or maybe I just thought that's how I was supposed to feel. But it wouldn't be the first time I haven't done or felt the things I thought I was "supposed to" in life. Still, I can't shake the nagging feeling inside that maybe I'm failing by not being conventional. But let's be honest: conventional is soooooo boring. I guess that in addition to the superpower of crying, I also rock the superpower of unconventionality.

What, my hair didn't tip you off?

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