I run errands by myself these days. Each morning, I take a too-small child to a bus stop, where he climbs on a big, yellow transporter with a bunch of mostly older kids, and we wave and blow kisses at each other until he's out of sight... Then I make my lone way back home, or to the store, or to the bank, or wherever the day demands I go.
It's not the same. I feel adrift, un-ruddered, nostalgic for days past. I'm wondering what he's doing while I shop, thinking of what he'd say if he were with me, envisioning how I'd turn a sign into a teachable moment. I'm talking to the radio, to myself, casting sad and envious glances at other moms or dads with their little one still in tow.
I know it's not bad for him to be away from me now, and that he needs to be around other kids his age; I am certain that he'll benefit from professionals who are trained to work with small children and who are far more patient than I. But must he be away for so many hours every day? He's still so small; he still needs his mommy.
I'm at a bit of a loss, even two months into this separation. Staying busy, working, will not fill the void left by his advancing years. When he climbed onto that bus, he took some of my purpose with him.
While he was an infant, a toddler, I longed for time by myself. Now, I have it and more—yet I find I am not nearly as interesting as I once was.