I dropped Bella off at her first day at one of the on post childcare centers. We started out small – just two and a half hours because honestly – I don’t need a lot of care for her. A few hours for work, and several for therapy.
More than anything, I want this to be for her. I truly thought at her age we’d have 2 or 3 more kids running around, and it never crossed my mind that she’d be alone at almost 5. And yet, this is where we are. So I have to adjust my thinking for both of us, and by the look on her face this morning she’s liking it.
Her little classroom is darling. We walked in and there were a few other kids around her age, it was so clean and bright. Big windows covered in their art. An attached outdoor covered playground. Tables for arts and crafts, books all over. Bins with toys, 2 guinea pigs as the class pets, little sinks to wash hands. It was all organized. My teacher heart exploded. (I didn’t want to take inside pics since other kids were there.)
And then – she saw them. Giant, ugly, rubber dinosaurs.
I honestly thought she was going to pass out. There could have been no kids and those dinosaurs would have filled in the gap. She took each one down with a look of adoration and sighed, then as I told her goodbye she lifted her hand and nodded.
Just – go. Leave me in my dinosaur bliss.
So I did. The teachers laughed and talked with me about their days, and if she needed to stay longer at any point what her routine would be.
I left, walking behind a group of little ones all clasping one of those circles on a rope with their teachers behind them, got in the car, and burst into tears.
This time, it was because I felt something watching Bella that I haven’t felt in a while. I felt happy for her. I felt like I made a good decision that would benefit her. Sure, it’s only a few hours a week, it’s her first day, and she’s not there full time to benefit from the total experience, but it’s enough.
You can’t imagine the guilt I’ve felt the past two years, but especially this past year, towards her life. Like – now she’ll be the only child who has all her siblings in heaven and a mom who has been sick or sad half her life. Lovely.
Somehow, this helped.
Then I drove to my Starbucks (the center is literally 10 min away) and now I’m writing. My heart is content knowing that she’s probably having the most amazing time there. This afternoon we’ll head to a curriculum fair with our new homeschool group, and I can’t wait for that.
Good days, days that are busy and wonderful, are what my heart and soul long for lately. Anything – because just the simplest form of happiness is craved for all of us.