Friday – this week I am grateful for … being by myself

Today, for the very first time, I left my child with strangers. Dropped him off and walked out. Before you call social services, I can reassure you that they are well qualified (if poorly remunerated.) Today, Benedict took his first step away from me. He went to child care for six hours. All last week we have been visiting for orientation. Having practice sleeps. Having our lunch with everyone else. Fighting over toys. Standing at the child-proof gate, holding the bars and howling like a banshee, when I went into the office to fill in more of the endless paperwork.

On Wednesday he cried as if his heart were breaking. Literally going to burst right out of his tiny little chest and explode. I cried and cried that night after he went to bed. Then yesterday he held me close and rested his head in the crook of neck and went to sleep. At 10-30 in the morning. He never sleeps on me. He doesn’t sleep that early in the day anymore. But there he was asleep in my arms at morning tea time. I carefully put him down on our bed and he just slept. Peaceful and angelic, for two hours. He was exhausted by crying his heart dry.

This morning I woke up and my own heart was heavy. I knew what was coming. I tried to be calm and normal. He was fine. He actually got excited when he saw the other kids in the outside play area. He was a bit nervous but alright. I quickly filled in the sheets, unpacked his bag. Then I gave him a cuddle and told him I’d be back in the afternoon. I put him down and walked out. He started to cry and rattle the gate. I kept walking. I walked out the front door, then out the gate, then down the path. I could still hear him. I got into my car and drove away.

I didn’t cry.

This week I grateful for the women who will care for my child when I am not. I am grateful to my wonderful man who is insisting I have time for myself. I am grateful that I can write.

Taking tea at childcare