Today when I went to drop Mason off, I was informed that the day had finally come…. Mason’s stuff had been cleared out of the nursery and he’s now a One full time. For good. He’s been doing partial days and hours here and there for the last month or so, but the last time we’d talked, it had sounded like it would probably be May before there was an opening for him.
His teacher asked to give him a hug before we went down there and I handed him over and tears filled my eyes as she said goodbye to him but assured him she would still see him now and then. This is the woman who has been caring for my son 9 hours a day for months. Who sees him more than I do. Who makes him laugh and smile without even having to try. My eyes filled with tears and I tried to blink them away. I’m not the type of person who cries over things like this.
I walked him down the hall and tried to avoid thinking about him never being in the nursery again. No longer sleeping in the crib he’s slept in for the past 6 months or the pack and play he slept in for the 4 months before that. About the toys he loves in there and the familiarity that his teachers have with how to convince him to take a nap or what to watch for with him getting too hot for his helmet. No, I couldn’t think of those things because I was NOT going to cry.
I brought him into the ones, talked to the teachers for a few moments, and left the room. As I walked down the hall, my mind raced with all the things these people didn’t know about Mason, that they couldn’t have possibly learned in an afternoon here and a morning there. I turned back and popped my head in to ask if they were familiar with the proper way to heat breastmilk. Of course they were, they’d been working there for years.
And there sat Mason, on a little chair, at the table, spoon in hand eating his breakfast. Not in a high chair. Not hand feeding himself. Eating scrambled eggs with a spoon. My baby had disappeared in the twenty seconds it took me to walk down the hall.
I cried all the way to work.