So long, farewell
Speaking of taking a hell of a long time to get there, we're leaving for our road trip bright and early tomorrow morning, when- SURPRISE!- they are calling for the dreaded "wintry mix". I decided to stop for nursing rather than pumping in the car, because even if we can save some time by feeding him a bottle as we drive, I will still have to spend time cleaning bottle and pump parts in nasty bathrooms, and the baby will still need to be burped, and spit-up will still find its way to his clothes and my hair, and- let's face it- there is no real saving of time to be had. It will be what it will be, and it will take however long it takes. We will most likely stop overnight on the way back from Florida, since I am grudgingly admitting that you people might know what you're talking about when you say that trying to make it home in one day is insanity.
Speaking of insanity, (would you LOOK at me with my righteous segues?) I will not be doing anything Internet-related while on the road. If I am to make milk, feed the baby, amuse the baby, wrangle the dog, change diapers, change books-on-CD discs, scrape poop out of the treads of my Nikes, scrape poop out of the car seat, and sing American Pie fifty thousand times, then I cannot also be online.
I know my limitations. But I will try to post from Florida in a few days.
I got home from work last night after a gray, dreary day and gratefully scooped my son up in my arms. Leaving him at daycare is still hard, but I no longer fear the worst. I know now that I was full of unfair judgment when I dropped Lion off that first day. I feared that daycares were dismal places where my baby would be seen only as "work". That he might go hungry for too long, or be forced to sit in a dirty diaper, or cry to be held, to no avail. That *I* was the only one who could love him and care for him the right way.
Nothing could be further from the truth. When Miss Thelma greets him in the morning with a cheery, "Hello, Mister Chunky!", when she knows that he loves to look at himself in the mirror and prefers sitting to lying down, when she knows that he detests "tummy time" and will howl in red-faced protest every time, but STILL attempts it every day because she knows it's good for him, it's clear that he's not just "work" to them.
Hey, Lion even rolled over for the first time while he was there, and the world didn't come to an end. They were so excited and proud when they told me, the jealousy that pushed its way up into my throat couldn't last. I figure those women spend hours dealing with the crying, poop, snot, and vomit of other people's kids. They deserve some of the good stuff, too.
So anyway, I had scooped Lion up in my arms and was basking in his huge, delighted smile when Mike pulled something out of a little gift bag.
"Look," he told me. "A gift from Miss Thelma."
It was a handmade Christmas ornament. A clear, beribboned plastic ball with a round disc down the middle, featuring a nativity scene on one side and a picture of Lion's sweet face on the other. Little iridescent snowflakes drifted gently to the bottom of the ball as I held it. Love, Miss Thelma, the tag read.
There was a little lump in my throat as I hung it on our Christmas tree. I put it in the best spot- right in front, about three quarters of the way up.
Sometimes the best gift of all is finding out that you were wrong.
Happy holidays, everyone.