By Joe Medler of Developing Dad
There is no overstating the grief one feels in moments like these. All we have in this world is love. We are born alone and we will die alone. I shout in the void and pray for the response that never comes.
I haven’t yet come to fully accept what is clearly to be. What we are facing is not unique, but the feelings, the inevitable sadness and loss, these, my friends, are universal.
We all have or will face something devastating. Something will make each of us heartsick, not wanting to move on from a moment we can’t acknowledge. To acknowledge it would only confirm that it really happened.
My loss, like many before, will follow a similar progression as it makes its way purposefully to a place where it can be turned to acceptance.
Today my baby, my sweet little Teddy, will be moved up to the toddler classroom in daycare. I share with you now what I have learned from the ages, and from Elisabeth Kubler Ross. I do it not for me, but to add my voice to the ages in hopes that what I experience, documented thoughtfully, may help my fellow kin in the human play in which we are all actors.
Denial: I know they say he has to move classrooms and that he’s literally a threat to the safety of the babies in the room, but I’m sure if I drop him off in the same class as normal, no one will say anything. Besides, I think it’s what they really want me to do. In fact, he’s been running in on his own for months now; maybe I’ll just open the door far enough to let him sneak in on his own, then keep walking. He won’t care. It’s probably a joke anyway.
Anger: Seriously? Seriously. He’s a 1, almost 2-year-old. And he’s gorgeous. So he’s a little bitey. That’s just how they play at that age. I’m surprised you didn’t know that. Whatever. You’re the same person who thinks he should move up to another class. Do you even know that he’s INCAPABLE of being prepped for this and he’s gonna be confused and terrified?! Jeez, play one damn game of ding-dong-ditchyourkidinaclassyouwereclearlytoldnotto with you people and you get all sensitive.
Bargaining: Listen, I’m really sorry about that whole ditching the baby in your class thing. I actually couldn’t make it out before you were opening the door to find me. I was hiding with his older brother around the corner when you came out. I feel like such a fool. In my defense, I was so mortified by this whole transition that I’ve been having a lot of late nights and drinking quite a bit. I honestly must not have been thinking straight. Whatdya say, you know, for Teddy’s sake, we just give it til the New Year? Then I’ll insist he goes, even if you don’t want him to. Think about it. It really is probably the best thing for everyone.
Depression: I mixed beer with milk last night and slept in the car so the kids wouldn’t wake up from the wailing. My kid is in a room all day with kids bigger than he is, sleeping for the first time on a mat and not in a crib, and if he’s anything like me, at this moment he’s scared, confused, gassy from milk beer, and crying loudly in the back of a station wagon in his driveway.
Acceptance: I don’t know why people worry about this kinda stuff. It’s not a big deal, really. You’d think they’d get used to it. I’ll be sure to give younger parents an earful when they’re acting crazy about these things, tell them to relax and just go with it. It’s not that hard really.
This post was originally published on Developing Dad.