Monday, October 15, 2007


We're toughing it out, these separation difficulties. Ziggy did so beautifully the first day of "school" at his Mother's Day Out program, but has since had a bit of a rough go. Crying and missing mama at naptime. Then the last two days, a traumatic parting with wailing and calling out.... Both days, though I remained cheerful and loving in the parting, I bawled in the car after having left him in the care of nurturing and wonderful teachers. And while that is so, they aren't me. And he is my boy. And I don't so much subscribe to the idea that the separation is critical for the current time. I don't imagine that when he is 14 he will still want to nurse and co-sleep and wail when I part. He is two now, and that's a world of difference.

Poor Ziggy cried off and on on through the day on Wednesday, and didn't even touch the lunch I'd packed for him. When I arrived to pick him up, he came directly to me, having just awakened from a nap he fought hard to avoid. He kissed me full on the mouth and said, "You came back." Heart sinks. Tears well. Yes, yes, I came back. I will always come back. Ziggy could tell me how he missed me, that he'd had a rough day, but it was also a good day. He told me ",Miss Johnni hold you." He held both his stuffed rooster puppet, Oaxaca, and the blanket that was "Mommy's when she was a little baby."

He was hoarse from crying for three more days.

This is all still so new, and transition has been historically (and currently) difficult for my boy. And while I've made this choice for him because his having a mother who earns is imperative, and because his mother can (theoretically) get a bit more done more efficiently with a bit of childcare help, I can't help but question myself in the face of Ziggy's "mourning the loss of his mother," as one of his teacher's put it to me. (The last few distracted "school" days have proved more taxing on my heart and mind than productive....)

I'm simply not willing to push this if it is not something that enriches his life and brings him contentment. I understand that many parents make this choice because they believe independence and separation is critical at this point. For me, however, it's an attempt at greater balance, not preparation for school or for peer socialization. The boy gets plenty of both in our life day to day. So for now, we wait to see what feels most right, what works.

When I spoke with Miss Johnni shortly after having arrived back home to work, she let me know that Ziggy was easy to console this morning, that he'd not cried again, that he was participating in Kindermuski class and seeming to enjoy himself.I like knowing this. And too, that they'll call me when and if I am needed. It's just such a big thing to let my boy go. It's hard stuff seeing him so unhappy, knowing how difficult it is for him, even if only for awhile.

So we'll give it a little more time, and see what shakes out. If necessary, I'll find another way.

1 comment:

  1. As an attachment parenting devotee, P, I can honestly tell you that this will be the most difficult period of mothering for you. But. It. Passes.

    M went through phases of tearful goodbyes AND hellos, and it was so hard on us. Our teachers, though, insisted that all children have their own trajectories of independence (and so does Dr. Sears As a toddler, M was held, sometimes all day, by the staff: it was what she had at home, it was what she still needed at school.

    Now, well, sometimes she just needs to stay home for a day, and we let her.

    I wish you strength during this time. It's so confusing for Z but he knows his mama always is on his side.