My post for The Red Dress Club is at Exploded Moments today. It’s about a memory involving a game.
My summer was slipping by.
I was stuck in the house day in and day out with a colicky infant. People were doing things and having fun and relaxing their summers away, and I was crying all the time.
I wanted to get away from my child, but I didn’t want to.
I wanted to love him and snuggle him and have wonderful days.
But I also wanted to run out the front door because my head wouldn’t stop pounding from his screams.
He never slept by himself. He always had to be held.
I couldn’t get anything done.
I had postpartum depression and didn’t know it.
The plan was that Eddie would go to daycare full time when I went back to work in the fall, but that he would go maybe a half day or a day a week for a couple weeks before that just so he (and I) could get used to the daycare routine.
Notice I said “plan” and “was”?
Yeah. We should have learned by now that when we make life plans? They rarely go our way.
And my plan to love every minute of being home with my little boy? Definitely didn’t pan out the way I thought it would.
Cort convinced me to call our daycare provider and see if she could take Eddie for a half day, one day a week. Just to give me a break.
She said yes.
It was a relief and a terror at the same time.
I had never left my baby with anyone other than family–and at that point not even many of them had been left alone with him.
As much as I wanted to get away, I couldn’t imagine my baby being somewhere without me.
The day I left Eddie for the first time, I couldn’t even stay and chat. I must have looked like I was in a huge hurry, but really I was racing against my tears.
They began to fall before I even got back in my car.
And I started to ugly cry as I realized I had run out so fast I hadn’t even kissed him goodbye.
That afternoon my house got cleaned from top to bottom for the first time in months. And I took a shower. Before 6pm.
It was wonderful.
Miss Amy has been a friend of mine for years. She and I scrapbook together which means we have gone through pregnancies (mostly hers) and breakups (mostly mine) and laughed until we cried. Plus she lives about 4.5 minutes from my house. And that is just because I have to leave my subdivision to get to hers. If I walked though the woods from my front yard to her backyard? It would probably only take about 2.5 minutes.
She is loving and caring and wonderful.
She was the only person I ever wanted as a daycare provider, and when we got pregnant with Eddie, she didn’t have any openings.
Her license only allows her to take six children at a time and she was booked solid.
I refused to worry about it. I knew something would come up and it would work out. And honestly? I had no idea that it would be so hard to leave my baby. I was a clueless first time mom who had a rosey outlook on everything.
I remember being so excited when Miss Amy emailed us to tell us that she was losing a couple kids due to moving and other things and that if we wanted a spot for Eddie full time, it was ours.
There was squee-ing involved.
And we thought our world was perfect.
Then I had PPD.
But she was there for me.
Then Cort lost his job.
But she was there for us and let Eddie continue to come once a week, keeping a spot for him in case Cort found work.
And then Cort found work.
And we thought our world was perfect again.
I never knew that leaving your child with someone else is like leaving a piece of your heart behind.
That first day that I left Eddie with Amy I cried of a broken heart.
She had part of it in her arms, and I could feel that.
Even now, when I am at work, she holds that piece of my heart safe all day. She nurtures him and loves him like her own. He said “Ahh ee” before he said “maa maa”.
It hurts less knowing that piece is being cared for, but it’s still an ache until I see him again at the end of the day.
But I always trust that when I get that piece of my heart back? It will be in better shape than I left it.
This weekend we got the news that next fall Amy won’t be able to take Eddie anymore.
There are lots of circumstances that I won’t go into, but with Eddie, she will exceed her six children limit.
We totally understand that she has to do this.
We know she is broken up about losing her little buddy.
I wish I could say that because I logically understand and know we will find something else, I feel fine about the whole thing.
But I don’t.
I cried ugly tears again last night at the thought of letting someone new hold a piece of my heart.
I buried my face in my pillow trying not to imagine my little boy meeting new people, learning new rules, and trying to nap in an unfamiliar place.
I know he will adapt.
He is braver and stronger than I am.
I just wish I could explain to him. I wish I could make him understand and prepare him.
He is my heart.
How do I prepare my heart for this change?