Today, for the very first time, Harrison and I tried out a MOPS meeting. We hadn’t gone previously because the meeting time conflicted with HD’s morning nap, and if you know anything about us, you know we are crazy about honoring the almighty nap. (Side note: wonder what BWNo.2’s naps will be like. How will we ever be as good at getting those in as we were for Harrison?)
The overall impression was a good one. It was amazing to see just how many women were there and really nice to hear that I’m not the only one who has ups and downs with parenting. But I’ll say more about that another time. For now, my mind is on just how heartbreaking it was to leave Harrison with the childcare providers and walk myself up to the meeting room to start the morning.
Honestly, I don’t know how moms (and dads) do this every day at daycare. I guess it must get easier, but this was our first experience of leaving Harrison in a strange, new place with strange, new people and it was a tad bit dramatic (and traumatic!). When we first walked into the 2-3 yr. old’s room, it was just fine. There were crafts, colors, and some young girls floating about looking over the growing herd. One little girl, though, was whimpering. And soon another one started. And then another. And then I tried to focus Harrison’s attention on his football coloring sheet so I could scoot out the door and wouldn’t you know it – he joined the chorus of criers! The big fat tears, the clinging to my neck – it was all just too much for me. So I sat. & I colored. & I looked at the other moms coming and going and wondered if I’d even make it to the darn meeting.
Soon a mom I know came in with her son and I decided it was a now or never moment. Along with another new mom who was struggling to detach, we more or less just bolted. Of course I gave HD a kiss and told him I’d be back, and then I left him with the teenager who was standing there ready and willing to distract. Now, in my defense, I can blame what happened next on the fact that I’m pregnant and that, as I’ve come to learn, makes a girl a bit emotional. But just like my little man, I started crying! OK, maybe not full on crying, but I got totally teared up as I walked (ran) from that Sunday school classroom with the other moms. It was so hard to leave him feeling so confused and because I’m with him ALL the time, we just have no experience at how to handle this. Knowing that a little social interaction would be good for both of us, though, I did my best to hold back the waterworks. & seeing as no one ever came to get me to say that my child was a total basketcase, I guess he calmed down as well. Full disclosure? I have a feeling this scene (tears for both) would have played out even if I wasn’t full of pregnancy hormones.
When we got home a couple hours later, and I was helping Harrison from the carseat, he told me, “Mama came back!” This, along with big, hiccupy hug that I got when I went to pick him up, made my day. By some sort of divine intervention, we checked out Llama Llama Misses Mama last week from the library and have been reading it a lot ever since. In the story, Little Llama misses his mama when he goes to school for the first time, but they ultimately have a happy reunion (“Mama Llama! You came back!!!”) at the end of the day. How fantastic to know that my son is not only learning from the books we read together, but also to see that he knows his own mama loves him to pieces and will always come back. Too bad I won’t always have the excuse of the baby bump when his growing up makes me choke up in the future.