How do moms handle this kind of thing?
Leada Gore, Editor
There's a photo in an album at my house that shows my sister on her first day of kindergarten. She's wearing a red and white striped sailor outfit and carrying a backpack. She is no bigger than a minute. She is posed with her head cocked to one side, giving us the "get a grip" look we've seen her give a thousand times since that picture was taken. The picture makes it clear that she thinks the entire thing is a waste of time and she'd just as soon get the show on the road. What isn't seen in the photo is the look on the photographer's face.
My mother – the photographer – was not ready to leave her youngest child at kindergarten. She wanted to make this moment last and preserve it on film. She just couldn't believe she had to let go and let someone else look after her baby.
I know the feeling. Well, at least partially. While it's a long way from a child starting their first day of kindergarten, I did have those pangs of terror last week. Instead of a child, though, they involved our small gray dog, Spike.
Greg and I were going out of town for a meeting and Spike needed a check-up at the vet. I decided to board him there, too.
I was nervous about the entire procedure, as I wasn't sure how Spike – who is accustomed to sleeping in the bed under the covers and having gravy on his dog food – would adjust to being, well, a dog.
With this in mind, I called the vet and made sure he would be kept in a nice, warm place (as opposed to the refrigerator, I guess) and would be able to eat by himself, as he does not do buffet.
They assured me he would be well taken care of. This wasn't enough for me.
"If he does get overly upset, is there some sort of sedative you can give him," I asked. "Doggy Xanax maybe? I know he will have separation anxiety."
Accustomed to crazy dog owners, they nodded and said if he truly become overwrought they would sedate him. I took him to the vet on drop off day, almost in tears before I walked in the door. Once inside, I let Spike look around for a while – I couldn't just walk out the door, could I – then handed him over to the nice veterinarian workers.
They held him; he looked at me; they looked at me.
"OK," they said. "We'll take good care of him."
I could tell they were ready for me to leave but it was as if I was glued to the floor. I had to pet his head one more time, making sure to tell him I would be coming back and he would be just fine.
I made it home, only to have Greg ask if I cried.
"Of course," I replied. "Spike was just fine. Next time, they said they would give me the Xanax."