In August 2011, it was the first day for five-month-old Abby. She used to go one half-day a week while I taught my classes. I had a chubby little baby in my arms, and a ladybug backpack on my back. I wasn’t nervous, and I wasn’t upset. I had a good feeling about this day care. I was right.
Over the years, I’ve seen the window reflect a baby on my hip, a toddler on my shoulders, my own unencumbered frame as my toddler walked in herself, my hot, sweaty face as I waddled in pregnant with Pepper, A tiny days-old newborn curled into my neck, a chubby little baby on my hip, a toddler under one arm and a baby under the other, and back again to just me as my girls are carried by their own legs into the place full of people who take care of them while I work.
I feel so fortunate to have found such a wonderful day care for my girls, and quite by fate at that. It was close enough for me to come and breastfeed Pepper in between classes, and to peek in on Abby playing with her friends. Every single time I’ve walked through these doors unexpectedly, I’ve seen nothing but pure love and care and genuine happiness in each of the rooms as I pass by. Pleasant workers and safe, content children. I am going to miss this place a lot.
Even though my girls only go once a week (Abby goes twice), they have still formed little friendships, and attachments to their carers. I have made friends with the other mums, and a comfortable rapport with those who work there. Having worked in child care myself, I know what a demanding but unbelievably rewarding job it is. I never take for granted that these people care for my babies so well, and I like to think I tell them often how grateful I am for the job that they do. But I doubt it’s ever enough!
For all y’all who look after other people’s children for a living, high five to you. For those of you who look after my babies, a high ten. Their lives are richer for having been in your care.
I’m sorry for that time Pepper spewed on you.