There's a small pit in my stomach today.
Today my BABY takes another new step and enters his very first Early Learning Program at a local church. He will go two half-days a week while I work, and continue to spend the remainder of my working time with my Mom.
It's time for him to play with other kids, I know this. I know how much this will benefit him when he starts kindergarten, and how much his knowledge will grow with trained professionals beginning to teach him. But my stomach still hurts.
See, it's not just about leaving him. I am sad that he is growing old enough to benefit from these types of programs. While it sucks, I've been leaving him with my Mom, three days a week for 8 months now. I've grown somewhat comfortable with this. It's about letting go. My mom honors all of our wishes when it comes to Ethan. She feeds him what I ask, she disciplines him the way I ask, she even follows the exact routine that we established before I returned to work. She's definitely been the easiest caregiver of all because I don't have to worry about something happening with Ethan that I wouldn't approve of. That all changes today.
His nap/rest time will change. His lunch time will change. The discipline rules *thankfully* strongly resemble my own. But I don't get to choose that. While I got to choose which ELC to enroll Ethan in, the rest is out of my hands. Today I have to put my trust in a program that won't see him as the greatest miracle to be born. While they may be wonderful, they won't love him like I do. Like Jason does. Like my Mom does.
It's so much more than letting my baby grow up and encounter new adventures. It's letting go of a little piece of control I have had over Ethan's daily life. I have to hand that over today, and to be honest, I'm quite nervous. Drop-off could become an ugly, horrible, crying mess that results in clinging tighter than ever before. And that's not even mentioning what Ethan may do.
Wish us luck.