leaving her

IMG0063 web The alarm sounded, prompt as always, at 6:30am. It’s later than the school year will allow – – enough time to roll out of bed and quickly comb my “bed head” before slipping out the door and beginning my southbound commute. I couldn’t linger long, though I thought about doing just that as I stared down at my youngest resting contentedly next to hubs.

Again I wondered,will she miss me today? Leaving her on this first of many days was heart wrenching. Every moment she’s awake is a discovery, every second asleep is a reflection of experiences. What new thing would she learn while I’m gone?

I paused long enough to sweep a kiss across her forehead, careful not to cause her to stir and wake. I shared a kiss and a strong embrace with hubs and he assured me it’d be okay – – this leaving for work thing was a necessity to secure our family’s lifestyle.

mobility web A few hours away is nothing new. She’s stayed with grandparents when we’ve had photography gigs. She did a brief stint with a home daycare provider. And each time when I returned to her, she welcomed me to hold her, snuggling down quickly and nursing greedily while commanding my full attention.

But today, she was not happy I’d left. She said as much in her baby babble, punctuated with whines and pent up cries. The routine will take some time to learn – this parting of days after our summer time together.

Hubs said she demonstrated her ability to climb the stairs, something she’d only just experimented with last week. She ate real food at the table with her siblings. She played with her toys along side her brothers. And she explored the floors for treasure with her magnified eyes trained to find anything the vacuum and our frantic clean up efforts might have missed. Just another day in her fresh life.

Meanwhile, I sat through meetings. Wracked my crowded memory for passwords created months ago. Surveyed an empty room and pondered how to make it “mine” again. Contemplated my ability to inspire, stimulate, educate growing numbers of students required to endure my curriculum.

My first day back in full time teacher mode and my mind wanders. The summer seemed so trying, so long only days ago. Then, suddenly, it was over. And I want it back.

The juggling of career woman and mommy has started again. So has the guilt of leaving her.

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