Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Parenting 101 - letting them go

Naveen will be 14 months in less than two weeks. We still have our most special times when he’s nursing. Unlike with Deaglan who still clings to me every chance he gets, I sense this kid will tell me when it’s time to stop.

I have to be honest. I'm not ready.

He’s made tiny steps toward big-boyhood already. Last week two mornings in a row, when I set him down on the floor at the daycare, he looked up at Ms. Debbie, waddled over and grabbed her pant legs to let her know he was ready to be picked up.

Just like that. No thought to me, his own Mama, standing there, crumbling inside.

She peered at me apologetic while I staged bravado. I smiled through tears, and chirped about how grateful I was that he had somebody special he was connected to. The mother of two grown boys, a pioneer in letting go, she pushed him toward me, asked him to give me kisses.

And you know what he did?

He turned his little face away. As if my shift was over.
Punched out.
Not relevant. 

I laughed it off, hugged Deaglan and marched out of there. In the van I slumped into the seat. Felt carved out. Emptier than I’d been in some time. I chatted myself out of sobbing, reasoning that this is what I wanted all along, for him to be okay at the daycare. Worry-free days at work. 

But I knew better than to believe it. I quietly sat at my desk those mornings. I thought about the forever it seemed to take me to get my degree in university, find a decent job, build a life. The millennium each work week felt to reach the weekend.

And yet when it came to these boys, time was elusive and cunning, slipping through my fingers.

Shrewd. Merciless.

I'm pouring my heart out with Shell.


  1. Oh, sweety, I'm sorry. It's hard to feel like they don't want you sometimes, but you know deep down, you're the only one he wants. Think of it like this: you've given him confidence to go out into the world and love on other people and he knows you're right there behind him.

  2. This has got to be hard. I can imagine...I've been there! But the truth is that I was more relieved that Maya was happy at daycare and loved her teachers than that she turned to them over me. I hope that can get you through this tough time as well Kim.

  3. I remember the first day that happened to me and I actually cried in the room. I had no bravado. Although I'm grateful Nathan loves his teacher Marie-Yvonne, it still hurt when I didn't even get a kiss goodbye!

  4. Aw, mama. My boys all seem to have moments like that. I blame their moods, not their actual feelings. xo

  5. My kiddo never has any separation anxiety at day care. He gets there and knows its time to play. It hurts but I'm glad is is happy there! You know?

  6. "And yet when it came to these boys, time was elusive and cunning, slipping through my fingers.

    Shrewd. Merciless. "

    So true Kim, so heartbreakingly true.
    We know deep in our hearts that our kids must learn to be independent-because some day they will go off and live their lives...

    But it hurts. Bad.

  7. I struggle and miss the kids every time I leave them. Even when I need a break. How wonderfully you stated this.

  8. I just want to give you the biggest hug right now!

    But you did give him a gift by putting a caregiver in his life with whom he's developed a loving bond. That must also give you peace knowing he's in good hands while you can't be there. It's a good thing. It really is.

  9. smart little bugger.... he is paying you back for leaving... bet he is good and ready for you to come back and pick him up though.

    Also show how loved he feels that he can bond with others so readily.

  10. Merciless, indeed. I'm getting ready to go back to work part-time after being home for two years. I am sad when they cry when I leave, but I know I will cry the day they do not, especially my own 14-month-old. Sigh. It's not easy. Bravo to you for giving him a safe, loving place while you're away, even when it hurts.

  11. Oh, Kim...I so understand. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post. I love your honesty. XO

  12. It's tough, isn't it?! I experienced a twinge of jealously (okay it was a dart through the heart)when I saw my 2 year old clinging to her new teacher's leg. I had to tell myself that it's better than her clinging to my leg when I drop her off. It was small comfort, but I did feel better.

  13. Well written my friend. These transitions hurt me to the core too. I hang on the fact that I know he loves me. A co-worker said something to me the other day, "I was really good at providing the roots in my parenting, I still struggle with the wings." So hard to see them flying...

  14. That must have been so hard. Even being at home, I feel when they turn from me at times. I feel that I'm losing them in bits. But I know that we're connected with love. They seem to move away from us so quickly. Hugs my friend...


Thanks for your comment!