I wrote the following on Monday, February 1, on Baby E’s first day back at Pre-K after nearly 11 months. When I picked her up, she ran to me and I couldn’t wait to hug her and tell her just how much we all missed her. Asked if she missed any of us, she hesitated and very diplomatically said, “umm…maybe a little…” I was thrilled!
There is so much joy in the fact that a child you sent away for a bit actually enjoyed herself and had a great day in the real world without you. Isn’t this what most parents want for their child? An independent spirit that allows them the confidence and skills required to thrive in the outside world, a world outside the comfort of the familiar? I was extremely proud of the fact that despite being homebound for the last 11 months, she was quite comfortably able to re-enter society, so to speak, and emerge perfectly great!
Monday, February 1, 2021
Baby E, Teju, Little One, Thing 2, Lovebug, Little Bean, Sweet Pea…call her what you may, went back to school after 11 months today. I dropped her off at her first day back at Pre-K at her old school. When I picked her up from school on March 13, 2020, she was 3-years-old and still in preschool, I never expected that she would be home for a really long time after that date. Today, as I walked her to school from the parking lot, I couldn’t help but notice my slightly taller 4, almost 5-year-old emerging into the new world before her with confidence.
As I dropped her off at the door (the new protocol for COVID-19) instead of in her classroom, she gave me a very tight hug with some stifled tears and soft kisses between our masks. Hugging her equally tightly softly whispering encouraging words to her just made me want to pick her up and bring her right back home. Instead, I did what I could. I took both our masks off and gave her kisses skin-to-skin. I waited and watched from outside the door as she waved a small and shy “hi” to a friend she recognized from school before COVID. One of the school administrators gave her a book to peruse. Since she loves books, I knew this was help ease her into her day. She didn’t see me and I didn’t want her to either so before she would realize I was there, I quietly left, hopeful that her day goes well and she comes home with all kinds of exciting stories to tell.
J’s school went into lockdown on March 16th and we decided to keep both kids at home. All the struggles, challenges, as well as the multitude of joys we experienced in the last few months notwithstanding, I am happy to be able to send my little one back to school and yet, I can’t help but feel like a piece of heart is missing today.
I miss my child desperately. The house is eerily quiet without her constant yapping. Big brother has his own woes. In the five minutes it has taken to write this far, he has already asked thrice – “Is it time to go pick E up yet, mommy?”, “Is her nap time over, mommy? Can we go pick her up?”, “When are we picking up E mommy?”….He misses her too. The two have been inseparable since the lockdown. In fact, all 4 of us have been inseparable since that day and today is the first time one of us is gone for this long.
Other than the few grocery or errands trips I took for short bits of time, we haven’t been away from each other. We are all a little down today. I can’t wait for the clock to strike 3:00 p.m so I can go get her (even though she could technically stay there till 6:00 p.m. – their closing time).