21 June 2007

Letting my baby go


We're crawling down the highway heading into Manhattan as I write this. I'm listening to Sheryl Crow's "Real Gone" for the third time since we pulled out of Bayside and I really don't mind because it's Angel's favorite song from the movie "Cars".

We have today and hopefully tomorrow and the rest of the coming week in back up childcare. While I can always leave him with his other Lola, I also want to take advantage of this opportunity to get Angel acclimated to structured play again. Call it a re-initiation into daycare. I'm preparing myself for some separation anxiety again -- more really on my part than his. One thing I've learned about children, particularly my boy, is that they have quite an ability to adjust when thrust into new situations. Their young minds eventually adjust and help them adapt.

It's the start of a new chapter in the little boy's life. While he's had stretches of daycare between Mom's trips back to Manila twice before, this time it's a step to getting him ready for school. It wasn't easy leaving him as he literally clung to me for dear life asking me to take him with me. The tears started coming as soon as I checked him in at the door, and he was begging me to stay while I was filling out his day sheet. They pried him away from me and he started to calm down the minute I was out of sight.

It's one of those instances when I have to let him go and let him face the world on his own. I know they will tell me he's fine by the time I call to check up on him later. He always bounces right back. Still, it isn't easy remembering how he cried buckets trying to convince his Mom to take him. I keep hearing him call out "Mommy" --- I ended up trying to convince myself I was okay.

On the brighter side, I felt a sense of pride as we walked from the corner where Alan dropped us off -- his little hand in my grasp. I beamed as he walked beside me, instead of having me pushing his stroller up the sidewalk and into the building.

It's days like this that make me wonder how different it would have been if we were in Manila and I had a yaya taking care of him... Would I still take the trouble of giving him a bath and dressing him up at the beginning and end of the day? Would I be folding his clothes after his Dad does the laundry? Would I be putting him in daycare at 3? In a way, it would've been akin to letting him go even earlier than I am doing now.

I fetched him at the end of the day and he seemed okay. He kept telling me how they had played with cars... he couldn't wait to drag me out of the center -- and then we were on our way back home. Hand in hand, we walked --- and there was my baby, a big boy now, getting on and off the escalator, walking beside me, out into the world.



4 comments:

SugarMama said...

I definitely feel the reflections in here.

"how different it would have been if we were in Manila and I had a yaya taking care of him... Would I still take the trouble of giving him a bath and dressing him up at the beginning and end of the day? Would I be folding his clothes after his Dad does the laundry?"

But Mommies and Daddies are the best tummy ticklers when dressing and bathing our kids, so with that in mind and although I would love someone else doing it for me -- I'm glad it is me who are doing all of it.

bokumbop said...

I grew up here, but can relate being married to a Peruvian ... when we visit his family in Lima caregiving is relegated to nannies and maids. Not that I don't appreciate the help with cleaning up and laundry, etc., but ... overall I am considered an oddity in that I want to do the "manual labor" involved with taking care of my child. Maybe I go too far in that I didn't even like to leave him to go out at night - the one time I left him, I was told that the maid would stay right outside the room until we returned, but when we got back, guess what - she was nowhere to be found, was called away to do something in the kitchen and left my child sleeping, but unattended in a part of the house where you could not hear if a baby was crying. Yes, I'm a huge control freak, but beyond that, even when you go to a playground or beach, you'd be hard-pressed to find children accompanied by their parents, it's always with a domestic employee. I believe that sweating the details in this case is what builds bonds, and on top of that - I couldn't imagine not being the one, with my husband, to give that first bath. Or now, be the first one he sees when he wakes up, to be the one to give him a bath, read with him before bed. And I'm doing less now since going back to work, so these moments are absolutely precious to me now. I'm glad it's me (and my husband) doing all of it, too.

Congrats on your launch! I sent a little shout-out to you @ Kimchi Mamas!

http://kimchimamas.typepad.com/kimchi_mamas/

mj aka sugarmama said...

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mj aka sugarmama said...

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