Not because of anything bad, necessarily. It was a great weekend in many respects. I got a lot of yard work completed; we kept the house from getting too messy; we went swimming as a family in our own pool; I got the grill going again and we had some great meals without ever going out to eat. Jenny and I even managed to sneak in a movie and a little wine, which was nice. Well, the wine was nice.
And Tate? Well, Tate was just at his curious, cute, affectionate best. No screaming fits of any consequence* this weekend; just a lot of playing and laughter and learning. He's growing up so fast – he can say more words than I can count now, and every day he surprises us with something we've never heard or seen him do before.
And he's such a sweet little boy. He loves to hug (he hugs everything – me, Jenny, his grandparents, pets, toys, cell phones, remote controls, food – everything) and almost always says 'thank you' and 'please' and 'bye bye' – even to strangers.
He loves to climb and run and jump and play with balls and toy cars and his junior golf clubs. Yeah, he gets into stuff and we have to keep a pretty close eye on him, but that's no chore; he's fun to watch.
This is why it was such a hard weekend. I was beginning to miss Tate Sunday night, simply knowing that I wouldn't have another great time with him like this one for another five days. How much would I miss in those five days? How many new words? How many new experiences? How many smiles and how many tears?
How many hugs?
Friday is Tate's last day at the daycare center he's been at since he could barely crawl. We have had a positive overall experience there. Tate has made at least one real friend – or as close to a real friend as a 2-year-old can have, I suppose – and it's made the switch that much harder for us. This daycare isn't perfect, but it has the comforting familiarity of home, and you can't put a price on that. Plus – and this is a huge plus – it had cameras that allowed us to check in on Tate whenever we wanted to. I have spent many a late afternoon watching him from my desk at work. That's going to be very hard to give up.
Still, the Montessori School he's going to is fantastic. It has instructors with degrees in childhood behavior, the latest child-learning gadgets and curriculum, a Julliard-trained music teacher, an indoor gym, a computer center and a helicopter pad for flight instruction and medical emergencies.
Okay I made that last part up.
They have a runway, not a helo pad.
The thing is, as enriching and wonderful and fulfilling as this school may be, I so wish he wasn't going. I wish I could say we were bringing Tate home. That's what made this such a hard weekend; it was such a great weekend.
*Okay, we did have some issues at Outback, but that was it.