I've been back at work for three days now. I had always heard women who had babies talk about how hard it was to return to their professions and I confess that I thought, "What?!? I love my job. I am called to my job. What?!?" And then, I kissed my 2 month old baby boy goodbye on the forehead this morning and cried on the way to a job that, for the most part, I love.
It isn't as hard now. R. is home with the G. boy throughout the summer and I love, love, love watching the relationship that they continue to develop. I love watching Grayson coo and ahh at his daddy. I love that he coos and ahhs when I get home too. I love that R. brings Grayson for Tuesday lunches with his mommy at Hospice. And the staff love that they get their Tuesday baby fix. I love that on Wednesdays he hangs with Grandma K. and I can call her at a moment's notice and she'll give me the intimate details of every moment in our baby's existence.
But, autumn will be hard. Because I know that I will wonder in those two days a week when he's with a caregiver, "Who can care for him as well as his family can?"
I worked in daycare while I was in college. I was the woman,the college senior, you left your precious baby with as you went for work each day. I lied to you when your baby walked at daycare, because I didn't want you to have to accept that you missed her first steps. I was ashamed when your child reached for me in the morning, rather than preferring to stay with his parents. I worried about you when you wanted to take more sick leave time when she had a fever, but knew you had to be at work. I wondered what life was like for him when you worked twelve hours a day for five days a week because you had to show your boss you were a "team player." I loved your child. I cradled your child. I still feel partially responsible for your child. And we haven't met for nearly ten years. And now I understand you.
I've been on both sides. I believe children grow when they have relationships with adults other than their parents. Studies show that children who attend daycare are just as emotionally healthy as their "home-grown" peers. I know this. And yet, I miss my baby when I say goodbye in the morning.
Perhaps this will change when toddlerhood and the watching of Pinky-Winky are paramount in his mind.