Every Monday through Friday, I leave work in a big rush to pick up my child. He's at daycare, and he's waiting for me to come and get him. We are a home where both parents have to work in order to pay the bills. That's just the way it is. I understand that, but I still feel a little bad about it. So I rush to pick him up as soon as I can.
If I have to pick him up late, for whatever reason, my patented MomGuilt meter goes off the charts, and I feel horrible. I feel so awful that I want to take him to the store and buy him some expensive toy just so I feel better. Before I get any comments, I don't actually do that, but I sure think about it. My MomGuilt is that bad, compounded by the CatholicGuilt that is part and parcel of my upbringing.
When I used to arrive at the school and walk into the classroom, my son would jump up and run to greet me. He was usually halfway out the door before I could gather his backpack and his lunchbox, ready to go. He could not wait to go home. That was very gratifying to my tiny ego, that my son was so excited to see me, that he was happy to be going home with his mama.
This year is different.
Zane often pretends not to notice me. He just keeps on doing whatever it is he is doing, whether it is coloring, putting together Legos, or reading his book. I get his backpack and spend a minute chatting with the teacher about his day, and then I call his name. It takes three or four times before he "hears" me. Last week, his class was on the playground. I walked
outside...and Zane disappeared. His friends ratted him out--he was
hiding on the other side of the playground, underneath one of the
playscapes set up for the preschool students. He thought that if I couldn't find him, he could play longer.
My precious boy, my sweet child, now sees me in the doorway, and he waves me off. Go away, Mom, he seems to say. Come back in fifteen minutes or so when I have finished this very fun activity, whatever that might be.
I am starting to feel less guilty, so that's good, right?