Don’t Blink

I blinked.

I promised myself I wouldn’t.

I blinked.

I tried desperately to stop it from happening.

I blinked.

Wasn’t I just in the hospital, changing into a gown, waiting for them to enter the world?

I blinked.

They don’t sleep in my arms anymore.

I blinked.

Hazel is starting full-time daycare and Orlando is moonwalking into Kindergarten.

The last ten months feels like ten days and now my sweet baby Hazel has spent the morning at her new daycare. I spied little table and chairs and suddenly, froze in my spot as I flashed back to the moment, almost four years ago, that I walked into the baby room and saw Orlando sitting at a table and chairs eating, not in a highchair, not being spoon fed. “I didn’t know he could do that”, I recall myself saying. He seemed too little to be doing that; we didn’t even have a table and chairs at home for him. Now Orlando is in kindergarten. Now, Orlando is the oldest in his school, as we call it at home.

Today, as I stared at the setup of tiny chairs and tables, each child’s very own cup, bowl and spoon, I pictured Hazel in my mind, sitting and eating, giggling with her new friends.

I missed so much with Orlando, and this time we have been lucky to have Hazel with either Adrian or me for an entire year before she starts school. I’ll go back to feeling like the baby sitter. I’ll go back to only seeing her mornings, evenings, weekends or when she is too sick to be at school. They are pretty much all the shitty times to be around your children. The hustle to get to school/work on time in the mornings, the grumpy overtired parents and children in the evenings, five days of go, go, go before the weekend tries to revive you.

It does not always revive you.

I find peace, however, in my belief that daycare is fantastic for children. I highly doubt Orlando would know the alphabet by now if it weren’t for daycare (that says a lot about me, doesn’t it, oh well).

It’s different this time around; it’s different with Hazel because Orlando started so early that I had no idea what I missed. Now, with every moment I have with Hazel, I’m reminded of what I missed. I’m reminded that it wasn’t me that taught him to sit at a table and chairs. I’m reminded that I relied on someone else to tell me how he was going.

Baby Hazel isn’t so much a baby anymore. She is almost walking. She is almost one. She basically took her first steps while I listened to the Manager explain how we might often find ourselves crying in the parking lot (I’m not that emotionally fragile but I get it).

I want to bundle my children in my arms and in the words of the forever young Peter Pan, set off towards the second star to the right, and straight on till morning.

I worry if I blink once more, just once, they might be waving at me from their cars, belongings piled up in the back, heading off to live their own lives (this is not an exaggeration. This is serious!).

Let the staring contest begin.

This time…

NO BLINKING!

 

 

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