Friday, November 21, 2008

The Sad Walk Away From Your Baby

This morning when I left my son at preschool I had a little breakdown.

The tears were not for my own child. They were for total strangers. For a child that I've never met and a mother that I had never seen before in my life.

A new child started in my son's preschool class today. As I walked up to hand my son over to the teach, I saw a mother and her beautiful little girl coming towards the teacher. The little girl began to cry before her mother even started the separation ritual that we all get to know when we leave our children at preschool.

Even after my son had already gone in (he's used to the routine by now, hug-kiss-go), I still stood there watching the little girl crying and desperately reaching for her mother who was slowly walking away from her. I looked at the mother and saw that familiar expression of devastation, loss and determination.

I turned back to the little girl and she was still crying her little heart out and struggling to get out of the teacher's arms. Every fiber of her being seemed to be saying, "please don't leave me here alone mommy! I need you. Don't abandon me."

I was frozen in place watching her pain. And as her tears were rolling down her chubby red cheeks so were mine. My heart just broke for her. So scared. So alone. So young. And also for her mother who had to let her go and watch her little girl in so much pain.

I remember the sadness and heartbreak I felt the first time I left my son in preschool as if it was this morning. And I don't look forward to leaving my other baby next year for his first day of preschool.

So for now, I will just cherish having my youngest at home and not having to watch him cry his eyes out as I walk away from him so that he can start his independence.


  1. The good part is that that little one will be all happy very soon. But yes, it is horrible that moment.
    Good night! RMB

  2. Oh I have tears in my eyes for that mom and daughter...I'm so emotional because it hits so close to home. I have a couple more months of maternity leave and I intend to cherish every moment with my daughter!

  3. The daycare drop is SO easy in comparison to school. I had to do the school drop off when Oliver was 2 1/2 and it was very different from his first day of daycare at 3 months. I felt like I was abandoning him. The incredulous look of betrayal! It was awful.

  4. I've seen that too and choked up. It's nice to be past it with your kids (or one of them), but it comes right back when you see someone else experiencing it...

  5. I LOVED how my daughter's preschool would call me on my cell as I sat in the car and wept on days they had to peel her weeping self off me: "M is happily painting at the easel now, Mom." I loved those dear preschool ladies!How did they know I couldn't enjoy my 2.5 hours of freedom if I knew she was miserable?

  6. Wow. This made me cry. I've always considered myself very tough emotionally, but the further along I get in my pregnancy the more I realize I'm becoming a serious softy. And even not having to be faced with this kind of situation for a while yet it still breaks my heart to think of that little girl and her mother...and every other parent that will go through the same thing.