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Wise Words

The first time you leave your baby, a wise and seasoned Mom will tell you the same thing every time you leave that babe:

It’s always harder on you than it is on them.

Some Mom’s need to hear this over and over again before it rings true.  Some never let it sink in.  And others listen and get it quickly.  I heard it quickly.  When I dropped Coop off for the first time, I choked up as I was Race-Walking away.  I heard the director very nicely scream those words.  I got in the car, took a deep breath, and realized I was alone.  I also realized that I left him with loving women who had help raise hundreds of children.  I heard those words and moved on.

I never worried about Becks going to kindergarten.  Never.  I could see him walking into the room, throw up a peace sign, and say “I’m out!”  He’d enter school seamlessly.  He’s been complaining about not learning math, so he’s ready.

And then I got laid-off.

I realized things were different the first time I left him with a friend.  He slow cried and begged me not to leave.  He’s never slow-cried to me.  Once he got there, he never talked with her.  He even put his blanket over his head so he didn’t have to look at her.  When I returned, he asked to leave every second until we left which was sooner than I wanted because the kid was annoying.  And this behavior continued during the lay-off.  He wouldn’t talk to any friends we saw during the afternoon.  He hid behind my legs if anyone spoke to him.  He asked to leave constantly.  This was a different Becks.

I realized that he had never been left without Coop besides daycare: a place he had been since 6 weeks.  His comfort and confident zone.  The more time out of daycare, the more his dependence on me was apparent.

The night before my job started, I saw Mark and him on the back porch.  My heart was heavy.  I had never experienced this when I dropped Beck off at daycare.  I knew he’d be fine.   And as a baby, it was easy.  He laid there: swaddled and ready for the next bottle.  Now at 5, he had questions and emotions.  We had sweet loungy days that would come to an end with the daycare drop off.  I knew daycare was the only option for our family, but it was essential for him.

The next morning, he was up early.  When he saw me dressed, I heard “Let’s go.”  It was an hour earlier than I needed to be at work, but I didn’t argue.  I shuffled him to the car and remembered the words of wise  and seasoned Moms.

It’s always harder on you than it is on them.

Eight years ago, I took me a little longer than with Coop.  For Becks it took me until I got busy with work, but I realized he was back with women who loved him and wanted the best for him.

But when I picked him up, I was Race-Walking again.

This time to him.

  • Jodie - Beautifully expressed. Such a crux moment… for both of you.June 18, 2013 – 10:20 pmReplyCancel

  • stephanie - Parenting is hard, huh? That first image tells a whole story. Another wonderfully written post, Erika.June 20, 2013 – 8:20 amReplyCancel

  • parikha - I can identify with so many of your words, Erika; I know that race-walk all too well. Great post.June 20, 2013 – 9:39 amReplyCancel

  • Catherine M. - It certainly helps to realize that we are not alone in this. Thanks for this post. It has come at a timely moment for me.June 20, 2013 – 12:42 pmReplyCancel

  • Karcy - BION I’m imesrsepd! Cool post!August 27, 2014 – 8:10 pmReplyCancel

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