On June 19, way back in the “BC” (before COVID) era in the year 2018, Miles started daycare. Not even five months old, he started attending what would be his home away from home for the next four years. Now, as a four-year-old looking back, Miles surely doesn’t even remember a life without daycare. Even during the pandemic, when businesses shuttered left and right, Miles’s daycare was only closed for a small window. It’s been every bit as big a piece of his growth and development as our home life has.
And today, with the impending arrival of daily pre-K, Miles went to daycare (sorry — FOUR SCHOOL (he’d correct me)) for the last time.
Drop off this morning was, honestly, like any other day, Miles sauntered on in, barely giving me a sideways glance over his shoulder. I thanked one of his teachers for everything, and she thanked us for trusting them with Miles. Maybe he heard a little of our conversation, but Miles came darting back to the door to say goodbye to me. I’ll assume he was just trying to recapture a small bit of our morning routine one last time (although I’m probably only doing so for my own emotional benefit).
I’m not sure Miles completely understands the magnitude of this moment — that he’ll never be back at this building, that he’ll never see at least some of these classmates again — but I also think any lack of sorrow or wistfulness is attributable to his desire to move to the Next Big Thing. Despite all his tough talk about not wanting to grow up, Miles is excited to advance to a “big kid” school.
However, I’m not sure we’re ready.