I cried hard when I left you to go to work this morning. You didn't know I was crying. Partly because you were crying so hard yourself (you weren't really noticing much except that I was walking out the door). And partly because I managed to get the door shut behind me before I broke down. I remember mornings like this when your brothers were your age-- mornings when I'd cry deep wet tears when I'd have to leave them. I try to hold it together. For everyone's sake. But your Papi sees me when it falls apart. Thankfully, he's pretty good about hugging me and telling me that it is all going to be alright. But there is nothing that can dampen it: it is so hard for a Mama to leave her baby. Somehow, even though I've been at this now for more than four years, I still can't seem to find a way to make it any easier on myself. Margie held you and your brothers distracted you and within a few seconds I could hear (from where I was standing in the garage, sobbing) that you weren't crying anymore. So, I proceeded to cry enough for the two of us combined. And that is how I started my day. Less than two hours later I was up in front of a classroom of eager college students on their second day of class, lecturing about sociology, and trying to just grin-and-bear-it that the mascara I had painstakingly taken the time to apply this morning was long gone (wasted on the fistfuls of teary-wet crumpled-up-Kleenex now sitting in the cup holder of my car). And so, the school year has begun. For me at least. And it is back to the grind. Last year I had it easy-- with maternity leave for the fall semester, and then my first semester back (with the excuse that it was my first semester back always there at the ready). But now, now there is no more buffer. And we're right back in the thick of it. Except now we have you too. And it is always harder to leave a baby than it is to leave a bigger kid. At least it is for me. And somehow, Meera, because you're so sweet and easy and full-of-grace, and maybe because I know too that you are my last baby, you are particularly hard for me to leave. And so I spend this day at work like I will so many -- feeling emotionally exhausted before the day even begins; questioning why on earth I'm doing all of this; and generally feeling total psychic upheaval. This is no easy road to travel. But we're on it together. And more than ever, for you my girl, and for your brothers, I feel that I must keep on putting one foot in front of the other. For as hard as this is to do, it is something that women like me must do. And though it isn't a life for everyone, it is done for everyone, and I need to keep on keepin' on. And I will. However, I'd be lying if I were to say that it is possible to push out of my mind all that I am missing during every hour of each of these days. And the tears spring quickly to my eyes if I let myself remember that I'm not the one feeding you your morning bottle, or lying you down for your nap, or watching you play and swim and learn and discover. And on days like this one-- where I need to teach a graduate seminar that will run until 7:00 tonight, I won't even be able to put you to bed. And that, my baby, is hard. I know, though, that we can't give up. Because if we do, then you -- my girl -- will not have the chances that so many before us fought so hard to earn you and I. And so it goes. And we keep clinging to that hope that it will all be worth it in the end. I believe it will. I love you my baby girl.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Posted by Heather at 2:35 PM