I dropped off my son for his first ever session of non-family-related daycare/preschool today, by myself, without incident. I don't think I've ever been so nervous in my life.
To this day I vividly remember the shear terror and unending tears I shed on my first (and last) day at a standard kindergarten. There was no Internet then, there were no smartphones, and being separated from my mom for a few hours was much worse than death. Soon after, my parents decided to homeschool my younger brother and I, and the freak you all know and perhaps some of you love began his journey toward this post.
I had premonitions of Leandro tears, tantrums, cries of "DADA!!" crushing my spirit as I skulked toward the door. Instead, he danced and giggled as he offered his favorite three stuffed animals to the teachers, joined the small sitting circle of his new friends, and completely forgot about me.
A wave of ecstatic relief, joy, and parental pride washed over me as I walked back to the subway station. Moments later, I was narrowly holding back tears, realizing this day was the first small step toward the inexorable obsolescence of Dada.
These emotions are so intense, so new, I really felt like I was losing my mind. Whether in a good or bad way, I couldn't say, just that the feelings were almost too powerful, too big to hold within whatever vessel is my own self.
Then I popped in to a cafe on the next corner and bought a cup of coffee, and that was very good. I love my son, and I love coffee.