This year, after more than two years of carrying you on my back, on my hip, in my arms, or you trailing me like a pint-sized shadow, we split up for ten hours a day.
I started work and you started daycare. And we both blossomed. I rediscovered the joy of being valued for my brain rather than my ability to dispense peanut butter; and you discovered the new, fresh thrill of being loved by people other than those legally obliged to feed and water you for the next sixteen years.I like going to work everyday. I like straightening my hair (on a daily rather than monthly basis); I like wearing makeup and looking cute in my professional worker-bee clothes; I like challenge and problem solving; and, little girl, I like getting paid! But of all of these things that I like, what I love most, and will remember always about this year is this: you, delight shining in your eyes, open arms in the air, running towards me saying Mama! I miss you!
You do this every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon, when I pick you up from daycare. It is the best part of each and every workday. Instead of being together all the time – which wore both of us out, frankly – we celebrate our comings and goings. We celebrate each other. Well, actually you do. And with that, you remind me to do the same.
And now you give me this gift not just when I pick you up from daycare, but anytime we’ve been apart more than a few minutes:
when I go to pick up something while your father watches you (Mama I miss you! Buy milk?),
when you wake up suddenly in the night and I bring you to bed with me (Mama, I miss you. Sleep Mama bed?);
when you just wake up from your nap (or **ahem** I wake up from mine) (Mama I miss you. Good sleep).
This is what I will remember about this year, Lola. I miss you means I love you.