Lessons in Letting Go……Lesson One.

January 8, 2013

Dex first day of school2 years
8 months
23 days
15 and a half hours

That’s how long D Man has been by my side. Every day. In fact, with no family support, it’s been almost every minute of that time.

They say you forget the pain of labour, but you don’t really. I remember it like yesterday.
I remember feeling as though my entire lower back was opening up, splitting in two, like some weird bi-fold creature, as I pushed  the child I’d been nurturing inside myself free into the world.

I suppose that was the first letting go.

Even though he was placed directly in my arms, upon my bare breast, he was no longer encased in my flesh, where he was safe from harm.
I also remember that little, pale blue, baby lying on my chest in the seconds after his birth and he looked straight into my eyes.

I know you, his eyes said.

I know you.

We’ve loved and grown and struggled, and loved and laughed, and played and yelled and loved and cuddled ourselves to this point we are at today.

This little dude has taught me so damned much about myself, and about life, and he’s made me a better person……

I’m more patient, most of the time.
I’m less selfish.
I’m more open, not just to him, but to the world.
I see things differently now.

Yesterday, I took D Man for his first day at school. It’s just day care. Two days a week.

I always said not before three, but if I don’t do it in the January intake, I have to wait another year……. and he’s ready.

He needs more than me now, because I can’t do everything cool and fun and messy everyday.

I’ve taught him to put on his shoes and take them off again, and to ask for what he wants with nice manners. This week we toilet trained so he can be a big boy because he doesn’t like just anybody changing his nappy……..that’s private boy’s business, you see.

I suppose that’s all we do from the moment that they are born, really – teach them stuff, to make ourselves OBSOLETE.


Then we can set them free and hope we’ve done enough.

I didn’t hang around. I hung around in the orientation mornings. Yesterday was not a day for hanging around.
I showed him where his bag went, put his water bottle with the other kids’, took him to the toilets and told him who to ask if he wanted to go.

‘Where you going, Mummy?’
‘I’m going home’


Of course, we’d talked all about it, what was going to happen on this day, but still, neither of us were quite prepared. You never can be fully prepared for that umbilical cord getting a little more severed.

We had a quick kiss and I left, with Kiki on my hip.

But I made the fatal error……I looked back.

You shouldn’t look back.

Never look back.

He was crying at the door, my big boy. His little face was creased up in a look that made me want to never set him free. To keep him with me forever (oh my god, can you imagine when he was a big, sweaty, 45 year old? We’d probably have loads of cats too. Ew.).

I stood outside and cried. I didn’t mean to but I couldn’t help it. I felt like a bit of a tit because one of the other mums (an old hand, obviously) walked past me and smiled knowingly.

Ten minutes later I received this picture and a text……

Hi Mum, I’m doing so well, you would be proud.
I’m colouring a picture of Spiderman and telling all my friends the colours

school pic

So, I dropped my mummy guilt, danced all the way to the shopping centre, shopped in peace, painted my toenails in silence and ate all of my lunch without sharing.
I reckon we’ll adjust quickly.


Today I’m hooking up with Jess, for IBOT, over at EssentiallyJess, go check it out. It’s a whole community thang……

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  • Reply lauragofton January 8, 2013 at 7:40 am

    You both did so well by the sounds of it. Starting Day Care is hard. My 2.5 year old has been going almost a year and the days he gets upset when I leave still breaks my heart. I’ve learned the trick is to not prolong the goodbye.

    Hope D man settles in quickly. Enjoy your (relatively) quiet house!

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys January 8, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      we’re both already looking forward to thursday! I’ve heard about the quick exit……I’m down with that.

      It’s comforting to know I’m not alone…

  • Reply Rachel Wernicke (@RedcliffeStyle) January 8, 2013 at 8:12 am

    I know exactly how you feel. It was so hard when I first had to leave my girls somewhere. It’s a hell of a lot easier now 🙂 Rachel xx

  • Reply iSophie January 8, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Never look back.. exactly!

    I have also received a reassuring message after dropping off very upset boys. 2 of them so far have had their moments. At one point, the 4 yr old was holding on for dear life to anything he could grab in the car so I couldn’t carry him in. It was a passing phase, and was always happy once I had left.


  • Reply coloursofsunset January 8, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Oh bless. It is so hard, isn’t it? I cried for weeks when my son started kindy 2 days a week. You will both adjust – probably him quicker than you! Kids are so resilient. I love that they sent you that message, too. Our old centre did that as well, it was a nice touch and probably meant they had a lot less phone calls from worried parents! 😉
    hi from #teamIBOT 🙂

  • Reply Rhianna (@aparentinglife) January 8, 2013 at 10:42 am

    How great that they sent you a photo of him. Isn’t technology great? I wish I could have had that with my first when she started in care and school. She was always so emotional when I left and all I had was their word when I returned that she had had a great day.
    Fairy wishes and butterfly kisses #teamIBOT

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys January 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      you know, I was just about to ring too!! Yep, three cheers for technology, indeed!
      My first ibot….love that it bring fairy wishes!

  • Reply littlestlovenest January 8, 2013 at 11:47 am

    This was just so sweet. I was even starting to tear up! ♡

  • Reply Have a laugh on me January 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    I can completely relate, this morning when I dropped off my youngest boy to daycare his lip wobbled as soon as we walked in the centre and the carers had to pry him away from me. It does get easier. I’m dreading sending my daughter to school this year. Letting go is so much harder than it sounds. But glad you went and did something for you afterwards. Emily 🙂

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys January 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      wow, the prying would break my heart! They’re totally fine in ten minutes though and your heart is a bit tender all day…little manipulators 😉
      Already planning my day on thursday….oooh yeah, baby, washing and cleaning. Hot stuff!

  • Reply chrissie492 January 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Well done! It is horrible to leave a crying child at daycare. My boy cries every time and it breaks my heart. But I know that within a few minutes he is happy as anything and playing with his friends. Good on you for letting go. It’s tough to do!

  • Reply Orene Webster-Filippone January 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I love this line:

    suppose that’s all we do from the moment that they are born, really – teach them stuff, to make ourselves OBSOLETE.


    So true… So so true…. Don’t know if i care to admit to that right now though….


    Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2013 20:10:16 +0000 To: [email protected]

  • Reply rhian @melbs January 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    That must be so hard, I haven’t had to leave mine yet, but totally dreading the day I do. That was lovely that they sent you a text and the pics, really thoughtful to stop you feeling guilty and worrying all day.
    Popped over from IBOT lovely to say hello:-)

  • Reply Nealie January 8, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    great post. brings back so many memories….really lovely little milestone!!! xxx

  • Reply Rebs383 January 9, 2013 at 5:35 am

    This made me cry at my desk. My son is only 4 months and goes to Grandmas every day. So it will be a few years before I have to do this, and reading this still made me cry. Well written. Well done.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys January 9, 2013 at 7:18 am

      You’re so lucky to have grandma close! What a special relationship they’ll have.
      Letting go, in some form or another, happens a million times before they leave home.
      Keep those tissues handy!

  • Reply EssentiallyJess January 9, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Oh it’s so hard isn’t it? Nothing worse than leaving them upset.
    I’ve neve sent my kids to day care but once they started kindy it was so hard to leave them 🙁

  • Reply Roar Sweetly January 10, 2013 at 10:41 am

    My little boy started childcare at 2-1/2 years. It’s a great nature-based, not-for-profit centre with good, experienced teachers. Sometimes he loves it and other days he just wants to be home. Even after a year I still feel a bit of anxiety when I leave him and he’s not by my side…living a whole other life separate from me at such an early age. Honestly, even after a year I still feel conflicted about it. But I don’t think I can’t manage without it! It’s great they sent you a text message photo.

  • Reply Nina January 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I can relate Danielle… my little guy started school this past week. I heard that the first few days/weeks are hardest as they adjust, and that they don’t cry the whole day. I think it’s great that your little man is starting school too. He’ll learn so much there and have a ton of fun that we just can’t always provide at home.

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys January 14, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      He didn’t cry the second day, but then howled this morning…..I keep trying to tell myself how good it is for him, but it’s so hard to let go!!! You’ll really need those school days soon, Nina!!! I hope you’re well x

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