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Camera cuts to a black SUV pulling into a driveway of cute little Cape house with a manicured lawn and large, fenced-in backyard. Dad turns off the car and looks nervously at his son strapped into the carseat. The boy looks around, slightly confused, because he’s never been here before. Dad gets out of the car, walks around to the side and opens the door to take out his son. They walk up to the door of the house. A cheerful woman answers, smiling brightly, arms outstretched to hug her newest addition to the day care clan.
The boy retreats immediately and hides behind his dad. Peering through his father’s legs, he dubiously checks out the woman and his surroundings. He’s unsure of what’s happening. Dad picks up the boy and gives him a big kiss and a long hug. Then he hands him over to the woman.
The boy cries hysterically and desperately reaches for his dad, who is slowly backing out the door to get to work. Dad tells the boy he loves him and not to worry. As dad walks back to his car he listens to the wails and moans of his baby boy. He turns one last time to see his son, pressed up against the screen door, yelling “Dadadadadada!” in an attempt to get Dad to stay.
Camera cuts to a black SUV pulling into the same driveway at a high rate of speed. Dad glances at his child in the backseat who is excitedly screaming to be let out of his car seat, because he can barely contain his unadulterated glee at the thought of another day spent with the cheerful woman with the bright smile. As dad hurriedly walks around to the side of the car, the boy is already straining the car seat straps in an attempt to free himself.
The boy runs as fast as he can up to the door to greet the woman who loves him as if he was her own. He runs full speed at her with wide open arms for his morning hug. Then, without skipping a beat, he demands to be let outside again so he can start his morning routine.
Run on the grass. Sit on the front stoop. Run to the shed. Run up the ramp. Open the shed door. Grab two baseballs and throw them down the ramp. Then run to the fenced in back yard to play.
Dad tries to corral the boy to say goodbye but the boy is long gone. Any attempts to wrangle him up for a hug or a kiss are met with resistance. He screams now, just as before, but now the screams are of annoyance. He is saying “Dadadadada…LET ME GO!” Instead of wailing for me to stay, now he’s yelling at me to leave him alone so he can play on his own. And at the end of the day, when I pick him up, he greets me with a look of disappointment because he knows I’m taking him away from non-stop play time.
And even though Dad is happy about having found a wonderful day care for the boy, who has gained independence and confidence because of it, he is somehow saddened at the thought of not being missed. Of not having the little boy want him around. Of not being needed quite as much as before. He knows it is a sign of things to come. Not a bad thing, mind you, just one of a myriad of changes on the horizon.
They grow up so fast.