Today I dropped my daughter off at daycare for the very first time. It’s only one morning a week, just a few hours on Tuesdays. But I might as well have abandoned her on an iceberg in the Arctic, for how much she (and I) cried when I left.
After I moved through the shock and fog of absolute despair, I found myself home alone for the first time in what feels like years. No one needing me. No one requiring anything of me. And I didn’t even have to get the stomach flu to be here.
Just me and the big, quiet, empty house.
I walked around all the rooms, soaking in the silence, and I looked at myself for a moment in the mirror. My face stared back at me as if to say, “Hi there, I haven’t seen you in a while. Welcome back.”
And honestly, it feels nice. Apart from the sadness of separation, I have this surprising feeling of accomplishment. I did it. I made it this far. I got her to this milestone.
Of course, I am one of many beautiful people in her life who has supported and nurtured her to this place. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it. But as a mom- her mom- it also feels like something special that belongs to me. A success. One of the first of what I hope to be many successes to come.
She’s a happy, beautiful, healthy kid. She’s made it this far, and I feel really good about that.
Today is a little victory for me. It’s an acknowledging of the accomplishment of getting this far, and it’s a real blessing. But I kind of wonder if the greatest accomplishment of all is actually slowing down long enough to experience it.
If I could give you a gift today, I would push the pause button and bring you a cup of tea. I’d let you sit in my favorite chair by the window so you can see the giant eucalyptus trees swaying in the cool, breezy morning air. I’d play my favorite Pandora station for you, and bring you a soft, warm blanket.
I’d share this moment with you, and I’d ask you about your own milestones. I’d tell you that today might be an ordinary Tuesday, but it holds its own victories. Battles won or battle lines held steady. Leagues and miles of space and time covered with the grace of all your best efforts and humanity.
I’m sending you this gift right now, and I hope it reaches you. I hope you find that moment of pause. I hope peace finds you there, and gives your body a chance to breathe.
Life is a beautiful thing, and you’ve made it. This far, to this day. To this Tuesday milestone. God bless you today on your journey.