This morning, well, it was possibly the worst form of torture I've ever been subject to. I started attempting to swallow the lump that hardened in my throat as the minutes ticked away to 7:15. Cruz was up, happy, and ready for a long day of play. And we had to bundle him up, strap him in an awful car seat, and put him in a freezing cold car, only to abandon him at an unknown place, with unknown people, for a long, seven hour day. Torture.
I cried the entire way to his day care. Yep, as Cruz slept, perfectly content in the dark car with his little Gap hoodie up over his ears, I listened to the radio, cried, and recited 2 Corinthians 12:9 over and over again. After we dropped him off, I felt even worse. I pulled his little body out of his car seat, gave him a big kiss, and laid him on the playmat surrounded by every toy, baby saucer, and baby-thing one could think of. I gave his lead teacher my typed instructions entitled, "Cruz Jorgensen Owner's Manual," and attempted to demonstrate our 'sleeper hold' position. Cruz smiled as I left and I could see him begin to take in his new surroundings. Walking down that hallway and getting into my car was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. And I'm not exaggerating. Torture.
I called my mom and cried the rest of the way to school. I cursed our society for creating a culture of working women and contemplated 'being sick' so I could go home and cuddle with my little one. Torture.
Although Cruz was probably thinking something like, "Where am I? Wow, holy colors? Whoa, he's my size!" when I dropped him off at day care this morning, in my mind it went something like this, "Mom! Where are you going? Why are you leaving me? Take me with you!" I had this nightmare vision of no one liking him, or paying attention to him, or of him crying all day long. I felt uneasy, guilty, and upset at the fact that I had to go to work to take care of other peoples' kids, while someone else took care of mine. Torture.
I believe the Lord works in our lives in mysterious ways, but when it came to daycare today, He didn't bother messing with me. Picking Cruz up from day care was a completely different experience. When I walked into the room, he was sitting in a bouncy seat like a perfect little angel. He was making gurgling sounds at a sweet college girl sitting next to him as if trying to flirt with her. Another college girl played with a baby on the other side of the play mat. They greeted me with warmth and Cruz greeted me with a smile. It was inviting, and happy, and comforting. So inviting, that a part of me just wanted to stay and hang out. Relief.
Cruz had a great first day of day care. The director stopped by to comment on how good he was, and on his very first daily log sheet, his lead teacher commented that he was a very good boy and showed them lots of smiles. He ate every four hours and took a three hour nap. When I asked where the other babies were, the girls said they were on 'stroller rides.' Indoor stroller rides in January? Relief.
I felt more excited to take him home, more excited to play with him, snuggle with him, and bond with him than ever before. So proud of him for being a good little boy, and grateful for the experience and interaction he will gain at such a great place. It's not about dwelling on the time I'm away from him, but making the most of the time I'm home with him.
Cruz was so sweet when we got home. He was all smiles on his changing table, as if glad to be back on familiar territory. When I fed him his bottle, however, he barely made it through. He was so tired! I'm anxious to see how he sleeps tonight. Beau has already confirmed that he will be working a half-day tomorrow, and is looking forward to a 'guy's afternoon' with Cruz. I'm alreay looking ahead to a long, three-day weekend of snuggling and soaking up this baby.
We made it. Cruz rocked it. All is well.