Our beautiful almost-16-month-old daughter, J., started part-time day care today.
It’s not like we didn’t know this was coming. We have planned it for months. I spent the last five mornings visiting the center with J. to help her ease in.
We have no complaints about the center—the teachers are wonderful and educated in early childhood development, the children are happy and engaged, and the atmosphere is transparent and welcoming. But it’s not the same as home and it never will be.
Last night when I should have been sleeping soundly after a super indulgent homemade Mother’s Day meal of filet mignon with bacon cream sauce, mashed potatoes, prawns, roasted peppers, and New York style cheesecake (plus a few glasses of merlot), I felt physically ill at the thought of leaving J., even for a few hours.
I’m not a martyr, nor do I want to be. The honest truth is that I want what’s best for Jas, and for our family as a whole. That doesn’t make it easy. At least not right now.
What’s best for Jas right now is to continue learning and growing and to be around other children. What’s best for me right now is to have some time during the workweek to myself, and, most importantly, to sit down and finish writing my book. And what’s best for my husband is for his two girls to be happy, so that he can also be happy.
I cannot wait to be able to tell J., someday soon, that I am a published author. That she inspired me and inspires me every day to be a better mommy/wife/daughter/sister/friend/neighbor. If I don’t reach for my dreams, how will she know that she can do the same?
It sounds like her first day at the center went fairly smoothly, which I am grateful for. Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised by her braveness. This is a kid who ran right into the ocean (on her first encounter) without a second thought.
Did you know that babies need at least four hugs a day for mere survival, and many more to thrive? If that’s the case, then how many hugs do mommies and daddies need? Infinity. Infinity hugs and kisses.
Even these few hours away from Jas (only about five, now!) have shown me that as much as she needs and depends on me, I also need her. I need her toothy smile. I need to hear her giggle with glee when we do flips on the living room couch. I need to chase her around the kitchen and then snatch her up in my arms.
Our family is starting a new journey. There will be changes. There will be challenges. But there will always be hope and a whole lot of love.