The moment is almost here… when I have to let go of my tight hold on things. I have to entrust my precious twin toddlers to a stranger’s care and hope for the best.
Hope they are treated well, fed with patience, consoled when crying, changed when wet. Hope that someone notices when they fall over in the playground and can’t get up by themselves because the harsh weather requires so many layers of clothing that they look like little Michelin men. Hope that someone wants to get to know them well enough to tell them apart. Hope that they make friends and enjoy themselves and learn new games and skills. Hope that they won’t miss me too much.
They will be spending more time with those strangers than with their own parents and that is the sad part of modern society. I will only see them in the evenings when we are all tired and sleepy, and during the all too short, errand-filled weekends.
I’m not one of those people who return to work because I want to. I don’t feel it adds to my self-worth or importance. As a female, I don’t feel it makes me more equal with men. I’m simply returning for the pay check. If I won the lottery, I could think of thousands of more fulfilling and worthwhile ways of spending my days. I have dreams, ideas, things I enjoy doing, an imagination. I would certainly not get bored. I have quit previous jobs enough times to know this for a fact! But we are here, now, and that’s not what’s happening.
I recently read somewhere: Your chore-filled days are someone’s childhood. An excellent point to remember, as I embark on an even busier weekly routine with my employer’s wishes demanding my attention and energy. In between it all, I’ll need to be able to somehow conjure magical childhood moments for my boys, too. How odd that the most important priority in our lives, parent-child interaction, gets allotted the least time. Maybe I’ll learn to live without sleep – it would certainly save me a few hours each day!
Whatever happens, I’ll need to learn to let go of my tight control. What the boys have for lunch, what they end up wearing to the playground, and what they’ll be taught will be out of my hands for five days a week.
I’m a hard worker and I’ll do my best at the office. But my heart will be somewhere else… with two little boys who speak in syllables and open their mouths for colorful spoons, expecting to be fed and wiped clean. I hope those strangers will hear my little ones when they point and communicate with such clarity in their own way. I hope their joy will be appreciated and shared. I hope they’ll be treated well by the world.