Angus cried. and screamed. and cried. and held onto to my arms. legs. neck. He pleaded with me "I want to come with Mummy"... "I don't want to stay here"... "Take me with you Mama". It was enough to break. my. heart. I think it very nearly did. Then my waterworks turned on and I could not control them. Kind of tricky when I was trying, with every inch of my being, to remain upbeat and happy, for his sake. The poor teachers, they must also dread these mornings. Hysterical children. Anxious parents. What a nightmare.
Angus' tears also seemed to invoke a chain reaction in a handful of other littlies. Who also started to fret. and whimper. and cry. Which made my heart crumble all the more. I honestly could not think straight. All I did know for sure is I wanted to pick him up, turn around and walk straight back out those doors to the car. Take him with me. Stop his pain. Forget the whole idea of preschool. In hindsight and with rational thought on my side, I now realise the longer I lingered, the more intense his suffering became. Then naturally, the less inclined I was to leave him at all.
Something made me bite the bullet though, I can't remember what it was, the whole half an hour is a wishy washy blur. But next thing I knew, I was back in the car bawling and on the phone with Scott. He handled my emotion, in a cool, calm, sensible manner. He listened sympathetically and reminded me how it will always be hard to let go. Whether it is now or a year down the track. I felt slightly better. I drove to the beach with Felix, got out of the car and started walking. Up and down the coastline, in the blazing heat. Just walking. Thinking. Breathing. Relaxing.
I was champing at the bit to get back to Angus. It was two hours in total. My goodness, this was just an orientation morning. I had almost forgotten today wasn't the real deal. I guess that's why they call it orientation, as it's all about adjustment. To my utter joy and solace, he seemed ok when I arrived. Busily partaking in some water play. He looked so cute. So small. My three year old boy. My first baby. When he came bounding up to me all lively and cheerful, it made my heart sing again. Unlike two hours prior, I was also happy again. Emotional roller-caoster? That is us.
We will be heading back tomorrow morning, for a supplementary orientation morning, before the official start day on Thursday. It was offered and suggested, so um... yes please, why not! If nothing else, it might arm us both with a tad more confidence and familiarity as we venture into our new reality. It is sure to be a learning curve for all of us.