It's relatively quiet in the house. The dogs are in their kennels and the cats are cozied up in the den. Steve is lying down with Scout, as that is our nighttime routine. Tonight seems especially difficult. Scout wants nothing to do with closing his eyes. Like me he knows that Monday is coming. Monday means getting up early, dressing right away, 15 minutes of some silly morning television show, and off to daycare.
As daycare goes, his is as ideal as daycare can be. But it's still daycare, and something about it seems wrong. As a mother, I feel torn each day that I leave him for someone else to care for. I know that right now, working outside my home is the only real option, but I long to stay home with him and just be a mommy.
That sounds crazy coming out of my mouth. For years I couldn't imagine myself doing anything but work. I couldn't imagine being "just" a mommy. Life changes us though. Those things that seemed so important no longer mean anything. While there are things that make my job worthwhile, I'm not sure it's a fair trade off for either of us.
Each night before bed, Steve and Scout and I talk about the best and worst parts of our days. Scout's favorite part is always coming home from daycare to be with us. And while he learns lots of important things and gets "socialized," I think there's a lot he could learn if we had more days at home together.
I love how he says things. I love how he thinks. I love to watch him play on the floor in his pajamas. I love how he doesn't care if I wash my face and how he notices my jewelry. "I love your earrings, Mommy," he says. And, "your skin feels soft, Mommy." There are never enough moments to share.
His sheer joy at discovery is one of the things I like most about spending time with Scout. We grown ups forget the joy of discovery. The time I spend with Scout helps me to remember.
Tomorrow will be Monday again. I will leave Scout at daycare, and wave from my car as he waves from the window. I will think of him often throughout the day, missing the little things he does that make me smile.