Having gone through it the first time I thought it was going to be easier this time around. But I was just deceiving myself…handing over my little piece of heart to someone I have never met before is one of the hardest, most traumatic moments of one’s life, I have now realised.
Every article, every book out there talks about separation anxiety felt by a toddler the first day of playschool or kindergarten, but very few if any mention the distress felt by a parent when he or she sees her little darling being carried away in a stranger’s arms into a strange new place.
It was heartbreaking to see my son’s beseeching eyes full of questions, full of terror, full of fright…his total shock and bewilderment at why I was leaving him behind in a place he had never seen before.
That day I asked myself the same question again and again. Why did I have to do it? I couldn’t even begin to imagine what he was actually going through, what he was thinking about. I can still picture him (actually I cheated and was seeing everything hidden from his view) crying his heart out, sobbing, going crazy missing his parents, wondering why we were not there with him, why we had abandoned him and when we would come to take him back home.
More so, when as a parent you are not at all confident about the new school, the new teachers and the environment you are leaving your child in. It’s been over three months and I still feel scared and have butterflies in my stomach taking him and dropping him at school. My heart breaks into a million little pieces seeing him sitting on his bench all alone (he is the only one I see among all those angelic faces) without me in the classroom. What if he needs something and the teacher or her assistant don’t understand him, what if they shout at and scold him, what if he gets hurt, what if he feels ill? I am not there to wipe his tears, I am not there to shoo away his fears and the worst of it all, and I am not there when he needs me the most.