My new morning routine includes escorting our 4 year old to her Pre-K classroom.
The whole “escorting” activity is for my emotional well-being. The 4 year old? She’s got this.
On Day 2, she really didn’t need me there, but she liked showing me how she knew how to get to the bathroom, and where she knew to put her lunchbox, and where she knew to hang her backpack.
I was there, for – you know, my benefit.
I mark this independence as one positive by-product of child care. As we start each day, off to our own individual destinations of work, day care, and big kid school, there is comfort in knowing that we each have a meaningful niche. No doubt, developing, embracing, adapting to that niche takes time and support.
Like this morning. I watched as a fellow boy student clung to his mom in a pre-K classroom. There’s something funny about little boys – fearlessly leaping from tall buildings one minute and clinging to mom’s neck the next.
I wanted to reach out and comfort that mom as she walked away, looking back wistfully, hearing the wail of her son. I wanted to tell her it that it does get better, her son is going to have a blast, and she and he will find a niche and routine. I wanted to hug her. Or buy her a coffee, or high five her. I just wanted to do something.
You know how if you see one person yawn, suddenly you yawn too? That’s me and crying. Really, all it takes is one tear, and I am boo-hooing right with you. So, honestly, it wasn’t the fact that I didn’t know this women that held me back. It was the simple fact that if I saw her tearing up, we may as well sit Indian style in the hallway together balling our eyes out.
I’ve decided: there’s a sisterhood of the crying mommas. We may not physically cry together, but our hearts are united. To the mom of the crying pre-K kid: I’m not sure yet how I can help, but I’ve got your back.