My sweet, beautiful boy. My David. Almost 6. Clinging to my leg for dear life, not noticing that all the other kindergartners are together in line and all the other parents are lined up against the wall. “But Mom, I want to stay home with you.” (This boy who’s been in full-time care since he was two. Does he imagine that I hang out at home all day, watching television? This boy who was never anxious about going to pre-school.)
He’s been like a little old man for the past two days. Whining and kvetching about everything. We had an argument this morning because he didn’t want to wear his new back-to-school outfit that his Aunt Carolyn bought for him (yeah, I know that was a brilliant move on my part to pick that battle…going to be getting some kind of Mom award for that one.) He wanted to wear his old clothes. And walking up to school, he said, “I hope the teacher isn’t mad at me because I didn’t wear my new shirt.”
When I picked him up tonight, he said he was sad because he forgot to remember that I’m always in his heart and he’s always in my heart, so we’re always together. And he was missing me but he forgot to remember.
Of course, much of this is a front for me. I know that he had a good day, because the mom-spies in the lunch room told me he was happy and carefree. He doesn’t know that I know. Or maybe he doesn’t remember that he had a good day.
My sweet, beautiful boy who’s a ball of anxiety just like his mother but who hasn’t learned to mask it yet.
May tomorrow be a better school day, David. And the day after that. And the day after that. For, oh, like 17 years. (Not counting medical school.)