Today I cried for the first time in a long time. It was a lot of emotions mixed together. I’m one of those people who doesn’t like people to see me cry, I don’t know why. Well, maybe I do. I don’t want anyone to see me being vulnerable. And yet here I am, announcing it to the world.
My daughter was the trigger. Kyah will be three years old in a few weeks but she has never been alone in a group of peers without myself, her older brother or another family member. Today, I took the two of them to a school readiness program at our mosque. It’s a preschool environment where there are teachers, games, story time, music and snack time. It started at 9am and ran for two hours.
When we got there, Keyan was fine. He went into the classroom, sat on the floor with the other kids and grabbed a book to look at. Kyah on the other hand was hanging on to me with dear life. As I brought her into the class, her anxiety kicked in, she started crying and I could just barely calm her down. When I explained to her that she was going to stay here to learn and play games for a little while (I’d already been telling her for a few weeks to prepare her) and then I would be back to pick her up. She just got more and more agitated and wouldn’t stop crying.
The teacher in charge told me that I should just go and that they would take care of Kyah. As I tried to leave, she started crying more and clinging to me. The teacher had to literally peel her off of me and tears started filling my eyes as I left my little girl behind.
I went into the other room where parents were staying to learn about flower arranging. I sat in a corner as tears rolled down my face, listening to my baby cry for her mother. How could I be so cruel? How could I let her cry for me like that and not be there for her?
My heart pulled me one way and my mind another. Inside I knew that this was the right thing. I wanted her to be able to enjoy being around people her own age, I wanted her to make friends, gain a little independence and confidence in herself.
As difficult as it was for me to hear for her calling me, crying for me, I stayed put. In the end, when the time came to pick the kids up, she was fine. She had fun and she was happy. There were no more tears…for now.
Why does the right thing have to be so hard?