You cried again at drop off today after forever. I gave you a hug, smiled, blew kisses at you and walked out. Such a familiar scene from those early months when you first started going to daycare. What was different was what came after. There were no tears in my eyes as I got in to the car and drove off. There was no frown on my brows. There were no worrying thoughts. That is what has changed.
The change of course comes from you. You are who we take our cues from. The child who used to start crying the minute we entered the daycare parking lot now starts to say b-bye even before we get to the parking lot. The child who we used to hand-off to the teacher legs kicking, arms flaying now walks in the class on her own, enters the room, arms out wide, big smile on her face, as if announcing ‘I am here. I made it. Did you miss me?’. The child who used to stand at the door all day long waiting for Maa to come pick her up is seen running around all over her class playing, dancing, singing, reading, talking. The child who used to cling to her teachers if there was ever a need to shuffle kids between the other class is now the first one who wants to go to the other class, what with there being new toys there to play with. The child who would not let me go, now looks at me with big eyes and moves her head with an expression on her face which seems to say, ‘Leave already. Let me get on with playing with my friends’, if I linger too long. The child who used to have big tears running down her cheeks now is known in her class for the most contagious laugh which makes everyone laugh with her.
Those are the cues I have taken from you. There was a time when I used to come to work guilt ridden, crying, ranting, unreasonable, unhappy. Take all my worry out on a few caring souls who listened to my endless self-pity sessions, held on to me, helped me get through that difficult time (Did I ever thank you gals? I think not. So let me say it now ‘Thank You. You mean a lot to me’). Now even when on an off day you cry during drop-off I come to work knowing you would have been fine by the time I left the parking lot. I know you would be happily sitting in your teachers lap listening to ‘Slippery fish’. I know you would be fighting with some kid over a toy and not care about the fight 5 mins after. And knowing all this gives me the confidence to walk out of the daycare without the heaviness in my heart.
Time has done its magic. Made us move forward, where that tough time is just a memory. Something you don’t remember. Something that does not hurt me, now looking back. Keep your laugh, just the way you currently do. Keep your arms wide open for that hug from your teachers as you walk in to the room, just as you currently do. Stay happy. Stay healthy. Always.
Loads of love,