I see you.
Your heart is aching. Your voice is breaking as you try and make small talk with the other parents on the playground. You have painted on a smile but you’re holding back the tears.
Your child’s face has broken into sobs at the classroom door. He is reaching for you. Screaming for you. Shouting at you not to leave him.
You are ignoring every instinct in your body telling you to scoop him up and never let go of him. You are smiling at him with blurry eyes and waving as if nothing is wrong.
Your child is clinging to the teacher now. She is still watching you, still reaching for you, red faced and puffy eyed.
You are looking at the other children skipping happily into the classroom and wondering what you’ve done wrong.
I’ve been there. Every morning for nearly a month I watched my little boy cry as I left him at school. I made small talk with a croaky voice and blinked back the tears in the playground. My heart broke when I waved goodbye with a false smile on my face, seeing him reaching out for me and having to turn my back and leave.
I fought my instincts every time I walked into that playground and that classroom. I wondered why it was only my child. I wondered where I’d gone wrong.
I hadn’t gone wrong and neither have you. Your child just wants to stay with you. His emotions run high. She is overwhelmed by such a big change in her life.
After a month, my little boy started to go in without crying and holding the teacher’s hand. Then he started to go in without crying and getting on with activities.
And now, for the most part, he just…..goes in.
He looks back and waves a few times just to double check, but then he’s in.
And it will happen for you too. It might take a week. It might take a month. It might take a year. It might get better and there might be a blip.
But it will get better.
I know it will.
Because I was you.