Today I dropped you off for your third-ever day of daycare. You only go twice a week, so adjusting to part time daycare can be hard. But I still wasn’t prepared for you to cry so much and reach out for me as I left the room.You see, you’re an independent little 19-month old. You love to play on your own or follow Anna around. You like snuggling, but you don’t always want to be chased around for kisses and hugs. (You get a little annoyed when I insist on kisses in the morning when you first wake up.) You aren’t really attached to me the way Anna was (you’re quite happy to have Grandma or Daddy cuddle and hug you. In fact, sometimes you seem like you prefer them). So when you reached out for me today because you didn’t want me to stop holding you, it broke my heart.
Yes, the rational side of my brain knows you’re having a great time there. You love all the toys and being around other kids. You eat and sleep and have fun and then come home. It’s all good.But the emotional side of me doesn’t ever want to let go of you when you’re willing to let me hug you and hold you and comfort you.
When I pick you up and you throw yourself into my arms because you’re so happy to see me – it’s the absolute best part of my day.When I snuggle with you as you drink your bottle of milk before you go to bed for the night, I get to stare at you. I touch your soft little feet and hands. I run my fingers through your curly hair. I look at your eyes and your cute little nose. Another great part of my day.
And the reason I’m writing this letter to you now is because sometimes life just feels like it’s rushing by. Like a river with a strong current. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to turn around and you’ll be grown up, with friends and school and a busy life. And those times when you reach out for me will be even fewer and far between.(But I want you to know that that’s absolutely okay. You are just perfect to me. You don’t have to be glued to my side for me to know that you love me. You’re amazing and wonderful and smart and silly. And I hope you know how I feel about you).
But I also want you to be able to look back one day and know that there was one morning in July, when you were just a wee toddler, that your Mom cried in the car all the way to work because she loved you so much. And that no matter what you do, where you go, or who you are – I will always feel that way.I will always reach back for you, Lauren.