When we were still living in the US, I only had 3 months of maternity leave. Thus, on his 3rd month, Jakub went to Day Care. I have to admit, that was one of the most painful emotional events in my life. I can still remember that day. Two days prior to my actual return to work, I left Jakub at Daycare. On his first day there, I stayed half a day just watching and observing. I wanted to make sure that his crib was well made, he was fed at the right time, his caregiver held him correctly…. all the things that I should be doing but couldn’t. I remember crying the whole time during the 20min drive back home. When I picked him up later that same day, I was glad to know that everything went well. The following day, it was a little bit easier to leave him there knowing that he got the kind of care that I had expected.
Jakub’s day care was good. I was quite satisfied with the care he was given. I was also glad that during the earliest stages of his life, he was already able to socialize with other children. Whenever I picked him up, his teacher would always tell me stories about how he played with other children, what time he slept, how much he ate. His daily report card always had a big smiley with a statement that says: “Jakub had a great day.” I can see it was true because he had always been very sociable. I believe his day care stint helped a lot with his social skills.
Today he had his first Sokol experience. Sokol is a physical education movement here in the Czech Republic. It is what YMCA is for the US. Eight months after spending all of his time with mommy, he is out in the company of other children again. I am still not sure if he really liked it. His reaction was funny. During our way to the gym, he was excited. But the moment we got there, he almost turned back after seeing too many kids and parents running around. Albeit after a few minutes, he blended seamlessly into his new environment. He is indeed Mr. Congeniality.
As a mother, I am always worried about how my son will survive in new environments. But time and time again, he has proven that he can handle it. I remember a short conversation with his former Day Care Director. I would ask: “How’s Jakub?” She would jokingly reply: “Jakub is fine. But mommy isn’t.” I wonder if I will be having the same conversation with his pre-school teacher as well.