I dug out our copy of The Kissing Hand in hopes it will work on the child who seems immune to its message. On Friday I peeled Sawyer’s hands from behind my neck and left him in the arms of his loving, nurturing, patient, amazing, preschool teacher. The quick goodbye strategy had worked for Ashlyn and eventually for Parker. I waited in the hall for his cries to lull and the program director, familiar with the trail of kids I brought to orientation, commented on the fact that I must be a pro at this by now.
An hour later the teacher called to say Sawyer was still crying and would not let anyone comfort him. We decided to wait a bit longer and a half hour after she called again to let me know he was increasingly upset and asked what I would like to do. Whatever my decision she would follow along, she trusted my motherly instinct and it was up to me.
Today Sawyer’s feet drew lines in the carpet as he dragged them along and he turned away from the morning in my lap. I carried him back to bed and watched his eyes debate on sleep and his yawn stop at a small “o” on his lips, an older, longer version of the face I nursed back to sleep, drunk on milk and baby dreams. When he woke up again we counted the days until his cousin’s birthday and decided on breakfast and staying in pajamas because it’s the weekend.
I have no idea what to tell his teacher. My motherly instinct is failing over issues beyond feeding hungry people and putting to bed sleepy ones. I had big plans for a well-adjusted youngest child who would smile and wave as I dropped him off at school but instead I peeled him off the floor during Circle Time and carried him, puffy-eyed, to the car.
As a mom, I know I am not allowed unrealistic dreams but I would like it all to be simple. I want to wave one bus passed with my teenager on it and another by as my son heads to kindergarten and drop off a happy little preschooler before beginning McKenna’s homeschool routine. I want a how-to guide on not scarring them for life and a hotline for the days I can’t even decide between paper or plastic.
I’ve amending my list of Things No One Tells You About Being A Mom to include #5,820: Sometimes you will have no clue what you are doing. Because seriously, I’ve got nothing. Just like everything else, we will get through and some day laugh over how much he hated his first week but loved his second or shake our heads at the meltdown that cemented his years of homeschooling. By then my blog will be collecting dust and my kids can come back to read the biggest secret in all of motherhood:
I might look like I know what I’m doing but I’m just winging it until someone smiles.
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