My stomach was in a knot as I pulled the big box of diapers out of the back of the car. M smiled happily at me as I undid the belts of her carseat. Today would be her first day of day care. I thought briefly about how there would be many first days for her to come. First days of kindergarten, then high school, then college. This one seemed particularly hard but I knew there would be harder ones to come.
I buried my face in her neck and kissed her chubby cheeks as we walked up to the door. The daycare owner was there to greet us and I was calmed by a little boy running up to give her a huge hug. She took the bag and diapers from me and we entered. I tried to slow this moment down, but as with any moment that you want to go slowly, time seems to speed up. Soon I was handing my baby over.
“Ok, well I’m just going to go.”
As I surveyed my classroom I began to feel overwhelmed at the amount of work to do. Bit by bit, book by book I put my teaching self back together again. I thought of her frequently as I puttered around the room making lists. I checked the clock counting the minutes as I wordlessly shuffled items about. And when the bell rang at the end of the day I went skipping to my car, like a child again, so excited to be going home.