Learning to let go
My boy Eric is now 20 months old…or so i’m told. I’m not as good at remembering as my wife. I usually just say a year and a half or so but I suppose that’s just plan lazy…or just being a guy.
Regardless, he’s growing every day learning new words and emotions. Unfortunately the words are mostly “No” and the emotion, mostly frustration. Add to that the fact that he just started daycare and you have a recipe for meltdown: 2 parts little devil with just a pinch of separation anxiety.
It’s a scary time for him and an uneasy time for both my wife and I. Since he was born, my wife has been with him almost 24/7. We decided a few weeks back that daycare may be a good fit. He’s only going twice a week so that my wife can work a few hours at the office and more importantly take time to do the things she really enjoys…like laundry, grocery shopping and maybe even the occasional craft project. Joking aside, it really gives her a chance to just be Christy instead of Mom, even if for only a few hours.
For Eric, he gets the social interaction he needs at his age paired with the kid germs that help him build stronger immunities…again so I’m told. It was a bit scary to see one of the first things in the hallway at his new daycare was a list of current diseases and infections that are present in the facility. From colds to rashes to head lice, it was all right there on the bulletin board, next to the lunch menu. I suppose it’s nice they keep track of these things but as a new parent, it’s still tough to comprehend letting your child into the real world.
Sure it starts with daycare and colds, but some day he’ll be subjected to the real terrors of the world like poverty, violence and democrats. It’s enough to make you want to put your child in a bubble to protect him from everything. Unfortunately I remember some of those kids from when I was younger. They turned out sheltered and weird and I certainly wouldn’t want that. Luckily I have my dad’s roadmap from raising me to use as a guideline.
Step 1: Send him to daycare. Interaction with peers is important and so is having time for yourself…mostly to work more.
Step 2: Make him join boy scouts but don’t blame him when he quits two weeks later because it’s “lame”.
Step 3: Encourage him to join school sports until you realize maybe “Sports isn’t his thing”.
Step 4: Make sure he knows right from wrong as well as the value of a dollar.
Step 5: Support him when he really needs it but never be afraid to “Tell It Like It Is”.