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Dear Son, Daycare - Who Knew?


--3 Months & 1 Week Old --

Dear Son, 

It's been awhile since I've written a letter to you. The summer has been absolutely amazing, and exhausting - definitely exhausting - but really, amazing. Amazing, in a tiring sort of way. It's strange. It's a feeling I've heard for a long time from parents, and one I now understand myself. I hope for that feeling for you one day as well. You'll get what I mean. 

Yet, here you are! Three months old, bright-eyed, and beginning to show flashes of personality, all while the rolls on your now Michelin Man-like body reflects your physical growth. 

We've made it through what feels like the parental probation period that is the three month mark. And while the summer brought about many things in the real world that often caused your mother and I to take mental notes on the person we would like you to be, we still are very much content on just enjoying this process. Of you growing. Of us, growing.

But now, we've come to another checkpoint in this road - daycare. 

In the search process, your mother and I learned so much about daycare. The enormous waitlists and factors the differentiate each operation, the cost - oh my goodness, the cost! - of the service, and of course, the way privilege and access plays into it all. Yes, you cannot separate equality - or inequality - from even the smallest of things in life. 

Did you know there are people on waiting lists for day care who don't even have children? Even worse, there are people paying daycare centers for the mere opportunity to remain on their waitlists! 

Of course, as a parent, as I think ahead, this already has me thinking about the resources you will have as a child that I didn't have. And even more interesting to think about - how your mother and I plan to balance you understanding your access in life versus exhausting those privileges to give you better opportunities. 

But again, this is just daycare. JUST daycare. I digress. 

Today, as I write this note, your mother returned to work for the first time since your birth, therefore, I dropped you off at daycare for the day. Well, half the day, because you start full-time tomorrow. 

Nonetheless, it reminded me, as far back as I can remember, of my time in daycare. Even if it were just looking at the pictures of me going to daycare with my dad that sparked memories - it's still a pretty surreal thing that this is happening. 

As I took you out of the carrier on my chest and handed you to your teachers, just like my own memories, I'll never forget your face as you looked back at me with your goofy giggles and smiles. And I'll also never forget the six-to-eight other children shimmying and crawling their way over to me at the door as if I was the most interesting thing of their morning. 

"The kids are always fixated on the dads when they come in. Especially, since your so tall" one of the managers said to me. 

I like to make up in my own mind, that at that moment, those other kids were all thinking, "the new kid who is pretty dope, yeah, his dad is pretty dope too!". But I'm pretty sure to the managers point, anyone large enough to resemble an adult has that effect on 3-9 month old beings. 

I type all of this attempting to deal with strange feelings that I can't even articulate. One can only imagine the feelings your mom has right now sitting at her desk in her office. It must be along the lines of multiplying the feeling I had when I returned to work by that of three. Not to mention, she's technically been bonding with you since the beginning of your existence. I just can't wrap my mind around it. 

With all of that said, in someway, tomorrow, each of us in this family, will somewhat begin separate encounters and experiences apart from one another for the first time since you arrived. That excites me. It really does. I'm absolutely thrilled. It somewhat begins the journey of a family. 

Even in working from home today, and seeing your play mat around the apartment, and mom's scrapbooking stuff about, I keep wondering what the both of you are up to today. And I can't wait to see you both later on. But I guess this all part of the process. All part of the journey. 

Daycare, man. Who knew it would be such a big milestone in life? Such a big pondering-catalyst? 

Happy first week of day care, Ace!

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