“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

It took a full two months before the act of delivering my son to his daycare facility didn’t end in a veritable fountain of Harry tears, two little outstretched arms, and an absolutely heartrending chorus of “Noooooooooo!”. 

I have a very good daycare.   The teachers are kind, affectionate and attentive.  The atmosphere is homey, if a bit worn around the edges.  And they keep Harry busy.  He has fun.  I know this from illicit glimpses of my unaware son through the window, stolen as I creep in to pick him up.  He is always happy and helpful, helping the teachers clean for the day, and dancing in his funny little way for their amusement.  I hope the self-consciousness of his future adolescence never steals from him his love of dancing in uninhibited happiness.  Watching him whirl and twirl, from my surreptitious vantage point, is one of the quiet joys of being his mom.

But those stolen moments were bought and paid for by early-morning anguish.  Vacation obliterated the progress we had made at peaceful morning transitions, and we were finally returning, just this morning, to something approaching an even keel.  I let Harry open the door to the building and walk through the rooms back to the Two-Year-Old room, waving hello to the older children as he passed through. 

As we turned the last corner, just ahead of us, the mother of one of Harry’s classmates was re-enacting an all-to-familiar scene.  Her son was outstretched on the floor, arms clenched in desperation around his mother’s ankles, tears streaming.   “Noooooooooooo!”

I held my breath. 

Harry gingerly toed past the pitiful little prostrate form, looking down, forehead wrinkled.

And ran straight to his teacher, the perfect picture of calm.

I let out my breath.

As I passed by the captured mom, balanced teetering as she unlaced her son’s grasping fingers from her ankles, I sent all my sympathetic vibes in her direction:

“Girl, I feel for you, I really, really do…”

And one, tiny, little self-satisfied, evil, guilty, thought:

“…but, better you than me!”

March 23rd, 2007 at 10:44 am
2 Responses to “One moment of sinful evil happiness”
  1. 1

    Again, my lack of parenthood leaves me wanted to comment about my own childhood. I remember very little about daycare, but I do recall my first day of first grade. Mom made a really, really big deal about what I was to expect and what was going to happen. Looking back, it’s clear she was working very hard to alleviate separation anxiety that I just did not feel. At least at that time. If I got that kind of prep for first grade, I figure poor mom must have had to use the jaws-of-life to pry me loose for daycare.


  2. 2

    Yes, it is really hard to walk away from them when they are crying for you. Especially when they’ve got that death grip on your ankle. Then is really is hard to walk away what with dragging that extra 28 pounds.