I can still remember how it felt leaving Maggie at daycare her very first day. I didn’t cry, I don’t think. But it was… SO WEIRD. I was just starting to dive back into my freelance work, just one day each week, so I didn’t even have anything major to do yet. So as I drove away, I thought… now what? I can go home and check my email? Or something?
I ended up going to Target to try on clothes. (I was in that Very Awkward Postpartum Phase of still having a decent amount of weight to lose but it probably wasn’t appropriate to wear maternity clothes any longer. So it was the right choice, I think. ha.) I remember driving through the parking lot and catching a glimpse of her empty carseat base and having a moment of OMG WHERE’S THE BABY??! panic. Then… oh. Right. Daycare! Duh! It was my first day away from her in 10 weeks. So I guess that was normal. And of COURSE I felt kind of guilty for trying on clothes while my baby was being watched by someone else. It was a weird, strange day.
I also remember (this is kind of embarrassing!) when I went to pick her up that afternoon, I had a serious panic when I glanced around the infant room and couldn’t pick out MY OWN BABY. I mean, in my defense, there were a bunch of them and they were all bald and wearing pink (lots of girls!) and it’s not she was running toward me, excited to see me after the long day apart. But it took me a minute to find her, like I… forgot what she looked like in 8 hours? ha. First time moms, man!
Fast-forward five years. Today was her last day at that same daycare. It was the last time we’ll open the door and hear the chorus of “MAGGIE!” from all of her friends- most of whom have also been there for the past five years. It was the last time we’d walk down that sidewalk together, me telling her to HURRY UP, OMG and WATCH THE STONES, PLEASE, DON’T RUN! It was the last time we’d point out the chickens in the yard or talk about how the alpacas were smelling QUITE RIPE this morning, GOODNESS.
Audrey will be at the daycare for a few more days, then she too will be moving to a new place. There are a lot of reasons for this decision, most of them are practical based on location and timing for kindergarten pick-up and bus pick-up and blahblahblah… kind of a bummer list of reasons to switch daycares, but it really just makes sense right now. I think next week it will hit me even harder that we’re leaving the place that was home- and people that were like family- to our kids for a sum of seven years.
Monday starts a whole new chapter in Maggie’s life, and in ours. We are all a bit nervous and excited, I think. Sad about what we’re leaving behind, but anxious to dig into our new schedule and routine and meeting new friends.