I am an "older" parent. By this I mean that my friends all have teenage children and I have toddlers and a baby. I don't mind this because they gives me a wealth of knowledge to glean from, and having young kids keeps me young (unless I am trying to get up off the floor, then I am reminded how old I am!)
What I am finding as I encounter these stages I witnessed my friends going through years ago is that I am turning into one of the parents I made fun of. Yes I know - they are my friends, but I still laughed at them as they went through stages of parenting such as children leaving for school for the first time, or the first night away from the kids and so on.
My friends would say things like "little Johnny went for his first sleep over and grandparents this weekend so we could go on a date and have a night alone. All I could do was think about him all night and I kept calling to see how he was doing. We ended up coming home early to pick him up." I would think to myself, if I didn't say it out loud " OH GET OVER YOURSELF! Go out! Have a date! Forget the kid for a night he'll be there when you get back!"
So yesterday I dropped Max off at his first "official" day of daycare. I said to Shel as i left home that I was excited for him to meet people, have a social experience and expand his little world, but that I hated to be the one to drop him off because of the look of sheer terror in his face and the clinging to me that he inevitably does. I took him inside. It started out exactly as I predicted. He clung to my legs. He didn't want to take his coat off, didn't want to take his boots off, didn't want to put his shoes on and then hid behind my legs. I pried him off me, kissed him and walked out of the room. I paused outside to listen and see how he managed..... there was not a sound! Not a peep! Not a wail! Not a knocking at the door! I was stunned, and I admit it - saddened.
I went about my day, thinking about him all day but refraining from calling. When I went to pick him up he was sure happy to see me but but not happy at all to leave! While I am glad he settled in just fine I have to admit it was difficult for me - obviously more so for me than for him. Wow I have become a sappy parent. At laest I didn't cry . . . .