Daycare starts today and I am freaking out.

 And by "today," I mean Wednesday, the day this will be posted.

As I have been told by a great many people, we'll get through this.  Appleseed will go to daycare and he'll be okay and we'll be okay and that's the way these things work.  And I'm sure the aforementioned people are right.  This is a nigh universal experience.  People have been leaving their children with other people for hundreds of years.  This is a big part of being a parent, particularly a parent in the 21st century.  This is what we do now.

But that's a big part of what upsets me.

At some point over those first few weeks after Appleseed was born, I told Nicole that I felt like I was going to burst.  It wasn't the responsibility of taking care of him that was causing this, it was the scope of how much I loved him.  It was huge.  It was unlike anything I've ever experienced.  It practically incapacitated me, that's how intense it was.  There was Appleseed and there was Nicole and there was nothing else.

But I couldn't function that way.  I couldn't live life like that.  And eventually I went back to work, which meant that the feelings that had rendered me incapable of life outside of our home had lessened.  I knew this was going to happen from the start, and it bothered the hell out of me.  I didn't want that feeling to lessen.  I didn't want the outside world to tamp it down.

This is how I feel about taking Appleseed to daycare.  I don't want it to become normal.  I don't want it to
be another part of life, like going to work or drinking coffee or brushing my teeth.  I don't want the fact that I'm leaving my son with strangers (albeit licensed, qualified strangers) to become commonplace.  I don't want to be able to walk away so easily.

I'm sure all of the above comes from over thinking the situation and, to a certain extent, from living a life of repressed sensitivity.  The bigger problem is going to be the obvious one: I don't want to leave my kid at daycare.  I want to see him as much as I can and when I can't, I want him to be with his mom.  That doesn't seem unreasonable, does it?

To a certain extent, I feel guilty about this.  There's a part of me that truly believes I should have advanced far enough in my life where I'm now able to be at home with Appleseed, where I don't have to go to work five days a week just to pay the bills.  I could have avoided this.  I should have done more.

There are two things that are keeping me from losing it completely (three, if you count whiskey).

Why is that woman smiling??
The first is that I'm going to work from home tomorrow, and the daycare is not far from our house.  I'm not going to be locked into set hours when I have to leave Appleseed and when I can pick him up.  I can even visit if I want, but that might be pouring salt into the wound.  But being close and having the freedom to go see him at the drop of a hat is making this all far less difficult. 

I'm not sure what I'm going to do on Thursday.

The second is that, as Nicole pointed out, this isn't permanent.  Appleseed going to daycare doesn't mean he'll always have to go daycare or always have to go to that daycare, although it seems like a perfectly fine place to abandon your only child.  There's time.  Maybe I can figure this out.  Maybe I can make this work.  There's a glimmer of hope.

Maybe I can find a way to not end up the way everyone says I will.  Maybe I can put off that acceptance just a bit longer.

I will be fine on Wednesday; the build-up is always worse for me.  Nicole will probably be wreck.

Forget what I said; I'm going to be at that daycare every hour.  I'm not ready to move to the next stage of parenting just yet.