September 16, 2011
You know some days when you look through old baby photos? The ones in the hall that you pass a hundred times? But then you stop, and actually look at them, and you think, Gosh, what the heck happened? You used to be a tiny baby, all squishy and puffy, but now you’re huge, and I can talk to you about the proper way to wipe your own ass, and you tell jokes about stinky trees, and you go to school with friends who adore you.
No lie, I drop Berlyn off at school and the second she appears on the play ground 5 of her girlfriends stop everything they are doing and flock to her, circle around her, and hug her, all while chanting “BERLYN!! BERLYN!!” It’s weird. Weird because she’s the only one they do that to. And I’m pretty sure, if they were in prison, Berlyn would be the one that gave everyone cigarettes and nudie magazines. I just have to figure out what she’s doing to make everyone go crazy for her. When I leave does she pull princess gummy snacks out of her pockets, throw them in the air, and proclaim, “Let it rain!!” Perhaps it’s just that she’s just really cool. I mean, I think she’s the coolest 4-year-old I know. And it warms my heart when others think that way too. With or without the fruit snacks.
You know what part I can’t get over is how secure and comfortable I feel about dropping her off. I used to cling to her when she first started going to school. And then I used to pace around outside the door waiting until the clock struck 12:30 so I could dive in her room and pick her up. My uneasiness started when she was 9 months old. That was the first time I ever dropped her off at the church nursery. I don’t think I sat still that entire church service. And the second the lights dimmed and the worship started, I snuck back into the nursery and grabbed her, kissed her a thousand times, and wiped her down with soap and water.
I’m the same way with Hudson. I can’t stand the thought of leaving him. I’m the one with the attachment issues, not him. Sure, he’ll put up a small fight right when I first drop him off at the church nursery, but soon after he settles in, he plays with cars, he eats fistfuls of Cheerios, he takes a dump, and the he stares at the other kids. He’s fine. And then a hour later, POOF, I’m back.
But lately, I just can’t seem to do it. I look at that depressing room with overturned chairs and the kids with sticky, snotty fingers, and I think, “No thank you.”
Berlyn can go, and enjoy all the excitement of coloring in a picture of Jesus and making a bracelet out of yarn, but I’ll hang on to Hudson. He’s just too tiny and too sweet to drop off.
I don’t know what it is. Maybe I have issues. Perhaps I need therapy. It might be the germs. Germs scare me. They’re starting to scare me less than before, but I still can’t help it, when I see a child with boogers in his eyebrows, I get squimish.
And I feel uncozy when I don’t know the people who I’m dropping him off with. It’s always different, and one day it was a 12-year-old boy. Nothing against 12-year-old boys, but they’re not the most nurturing when it comes to crying babies.
So I’ll continue to go to church, but I’m bringing my Hudson with me. I figure when he’s 4 I’ll drop him off. But for now I’ll hang on to him.
I’ll blame it on the germs or the inadequate child care, but really it’s because I’m the one with the separation anxiety.