Mum guilt sets in again, because I'm the one who took him there and told him the staff would make sure he was safe. Always, on leaving him, my mind goes back to those difficult times in the neonatal unit when I had to give in at 11 or 12pm and head home for the night, leaving him on his own. I thought I had a little baby who didn't cry - until a grumpy nurse disillusioned me that he screamed the place down every night the first time he woke up when I left. You can be sure that I moved heaven and earth (and you can indeed move heaven through prayers) to bring him home as quickly as possible after that.
Now, the first time I left him, except for occasions I can number on one hand, was at his first pre-school...he was great for the first week and then trouble came. All his life so far, I've prayed for him not to be bullied and to make friends, to have fun and enjoy life. So why did this happen? I do believe that God answers prayers and that he certainly hears them, but I know that this is not always to our prefered timescale, or in a way that we would envisage. Why? Sometimes it's best for someone else to be in charge.
The thing is, we are not powerless ourselves in this and other situations. I could have pulled him out earlier. I could have been stronger in voicing a protest on his behalf. I could have kept him at home. I could have kept him at home today and not given him the chance to make friends independently from me. I hear him telling me that he doesn't want to grow bigger, so I know he is frightened of this seperation. Is free pre-school good or is it all about releasing mums into the workforce? I don't know, but I know that all his class mates will have taken up the opportunity when he starts school next year, so I don't want him to miss out. I don't have to have all the answers. I know someone who does.
There is a constant tug, isn't there, of giving them roots and giving them wings. Do I still pray? Of course I do! I'd rather face this life in this world with God than without. Is this a crutch, a support that Christians desperately cling to? Of course! And not just a crutch - a "tall tower" where we can run for shelter, a place to hide in the shadow of his wings, a person who believes me and my son (and you, by the way) to be a treasure worth giving up everything for.
Time to look at school applications for next year.