Letters to Holly

Tuesday, July 5

Off He Goes

The boy is now at daycare for his first full day. Your Sister was a wreck last night. She knew this was coming, and we visited the daycare a few times to prepare him and us. But they've been a binary pair for a year now, and she put her career on hold to raise him. He gave her a new identity, and that's changing as of today.

I tried to assure her. I reminded her this was our plan all along, that we chose this daycare above the others, that we are lucky to have a child that has the development that allows daycare to be an option, that he isn't going to camp or war. It's a daytime teaching center, and we're advocates of public education. This is good for him. This is the best program we can give him. I'm a daycare baby, and if I can grow up to find a gal like Your Sister momentarily addled enough to marry me, then maybe daycare ain't so bad.

Then again, I've been leaving him behind every work day for a year now. This is her first shot at it. Yeah, she left him with family as she ran errands or attended workshops. But now he's just down the road from me, and, emotionally for her, he might as well be in Swaziland. She's visiting with a college buddy today, and that will distract her.

She called me about an hour after I got to work to hear how his arrival went. He seemed mostly OK. It's been almost a whole week of new people and places, and he's processing it all. He had bad dreams the last few nights, but a drink of water and a cuddle puts him right out in a few minutes. Turns out a drink of water in the middle of the night really does work for kids. Also he has a new truck toy to obsess over, and he's already making engine noises with his mouth. That seems like the play of an older kid.

Our Sister-In-Law was shocked and dismayed that we didn't prepare a small cake for the sidekick to demolish on his first birthday. I'd even say she was horrified. She explained to the other party folks that you're supposed to make such a cake and videotape the cake violence so you can watch it over and over. But we don't do that. As you saw at his birth, we'd rather experience the moment instead of stepping back to document it. That's our parental style. But we do appreicate her taking so many pictures during the party. We took none. We were busying hosting or baby chasing.

And now, of course, he's baptized and officially dedicated to a Christian life, and this was her hope and choice. I wasn't consulted. I don't object; it's for her benefit, and I'm for making her happy. You can't expect a baby to commit to anything other than mashed bananas, I'd argue, and as long as he isn't subjected to the spiritual browbeating and mental discouragement that I grew up with in a church, I have no problem with this. But the first time I hear he has to convince himself he's no good and inherently damaged, I'm yanking him out of there.

In other news, I yanked up some potatoes Saturday morning. We got 20 from five plants, and two were chucked for suspect bug holes. I planted pumpkin where some potato stalks stood. I think we're gonna get a heap of tomatoes ripening at one time.  

Picture of the Day
I need to relax. I'll unwind with some caffeine.

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