"Mommy, go work."
Jake said these words gently, with a firm hand on my knee as if to steady me for the blow of his very first (but, oh, I know, definitely not his last) leave-me-alone-already.
We were in his new classroom, on his first day at the "big kids" preschool across the street from his former pre-preschool. I had been in the room with him for something over an hour, slowly but surely coaxing him away from my lap, suggesting he interact with the other kids, gently edging my way toward the door. Proving, in other words, what a great mom I am to anyone who might be watching. Which was, approximately, no one.
Except Jake. Who, after a while, felt he had to coax me out of his hair with a gentle "Mommy, go work," that assured me he was, indeed, okay without me.