I love my daughter's daycare. I love the teachers. I love the location. I love everything about it. I know she also loves it there. Sometimes, when I pick her up, I watch her through the door just to see her walk around the classroom, playing with toys or with other kids. I love to observe her in that environment. It isn't something I get to do often.
I have every Monday at home with her. Yesterday, we woke up early, ate breakfast and after she cried in her crib for 20 minutes, we napped together in bed for over an hour. We went on a 2.5 mile run/walk before heading out to Costco for some shopping. We ate lunch together and played outside with the water table. She explored the backyard, pointing to the grass and the trees and asking "dis? dat?" She sat in the patio chair and spun around with a smile on her face. She walked the halls of the local hospital where I had my doctor appointment and kicked her legs when I saw her in the hallway with my mom afterwards. I got into the backseat to put her in the carseat and she rested her head on my chest and stayed that way for 30 seconds. I kissed her head and I said I love you.
When we got home, she made it very clear that she was hungry so I made her dinner while she verbally expressed her disappointment that I was moving too slow. The rest of the evening involved watching her walk around the house, coloring, reading books and playing with her toys. Then it was bath and bed.
When I crawled into my own bed at night, I thought about our day and how she made me laugh so many times. How she understands so much and is communicating so well, even though she doesn't have any real words to use. I thought about how she walks with one arm swinging fiercely and often stomps her feet while marching around. I pictured her cute spout standing tall on her head and her whispy blonde hair.
And I burst into tears because tomorrow won't be a repeat of today. And it is 4 long workdays until I get to be with her all day again. I am her mother. I should be with her. I should be teaching her animal sounds and doing arts and crafts with her. I should be at the park with her in the afternoon every single day and playing with her. I want to be eating lunch with her. The pain I felt was real and it hurt. I questioned myself for spending the last 10 months working while she was at daycare. I felt envy for my many friends who stay at home with their kids. I am sad that I can't do that.
I treasure my moments with her. I know she is gaining so many skills and learning so much at daycare. I know she loves it. And I love it too. I just wish she was with me. All the time.