Last year G formed a special bond with one of the ladies who worked in daycare. Sometime in the spring Christina was moved to work in another classroom. They missed each other. "Aunt Christina" has three boys and none of them are little anymore. Christina had talked about G so much at home that her family was asking to meet her. As a result we setup an all day 'playdate'. (Since Christina knew G's routine and had spent many, many long days with her I knew they would both be comfortable with this.) The playdates have continued, about once a month, throughout the school months.
Today is one of those days. I am always a bit torn. I am thrilled that G gets the opportunity, which she loves. She gets very excited to see Aunt Christina, Tito Ramel, and 'the boys'. I know the day is good for both of us, but I miss her! It is different when we are at school. I am working and the day flies by.
On days like today I have some downtime and wonder what she is doing and how she is hanging in there. (She doesn't nap on these days, has access to junk food and movies, and other things that aren't part of her 'normal' life.) I know she has fun as she is always excited for the next playdate. I also know she comes home wiped out, sometime barely holding it together until she is in my arms.
I guess that is part of parenting, isn't it? Giving them opportunities, even when they aren't perfect situations, and then being there as a safe harbor as they process it all. At two-and-three-quarters that processing is a chance to snuggle in mommy's lap, suck her thumb, and perhaps be quick to tears for a bit.
From a very early age we have used the line, "Mommy always comes back". It probably started with the nursery at church. It has definitely been said many times as she is dropped off at daycare. Before last month's playdate I started asking her if she would come back. I wanted her to realize that sometime she is the one leaving and that I miss her, too. She looks at me, grins, and says 'yes'. I am glad I have planted that seed as I know there will be more days of her leaving as she gets older. For today it is simply a nine hour playdate.