I had tears in my eyes. I could not string a sentence together no matter how hard I tried. I sat at work staring straight ahead but could not get any work done. My heart felt heavy with suppressed emotions and the guilt was overwhelming. I can never forget that day. I had just left my baby at a daycare for the first time.
This past Wednesday was another day to remember. I walked in to the same daycare to pick her up and there was a bag full of her notes for the day, her artwork, her spare clothes and a CD of her pictures taken over the course of the year, all waiting for me to pick up. There were warm hugs and goodbyes and promises to drop by often. She did not understand what the byes were all about. She did not know why all the teachers who have ever been with her stopped by to give her a hug. All she talked about was the cupcake she got to eat in class. She pointed to the picture of her reading a book with her teacher in the main hallway as she always does. She ran to the fish tank and said her byes and goodnights to the fishes as is the norm. She danced along the Christmas music playing outside the door. She walked out without even realizing that it was for the last time.
Me, well the emotional fool me could not control the tears. This place has given her so much love. The people here have helped her grow. They have taught me how to be parent. She has thrived under their care. I have become a better mom learning from them.
And then we cleaned up her cubby, said good bye and walked out the door. My baby walked out of her daycare for the last time.
As I sit down to give Bugz a massage, she sits next to me asking for oil followed by massaging Bugz. As I give Bugz her bath, she does her part by splashing water on Bugz and I smile. One very important chapter has ended and as sad as I am that my baby is growing up there is another chapter that has started. A chapter where bonds of love are formed. A chapter that warms my heart.