“So! What are you guys up to next week?”
The question is bantered around at morning drop off and afternoon pick-up at daycare. The center is closed next week and we all get to play house with our own children. Each time a parent asks me the question I see a glimmer of fear in their eyes. A whole week. Alone. At home. With our kids.
“Hey! Maybe we can have a play date.” I say to a mom after we’ve established that she’s taking the week off to be with her kids.
“Sure! Anything for a little grown-up interaction.” She jokes, but her eyes betray her true feelings. She’s terrified to be alone with her kids all week. It’s only Thursday, but next week stretches out endlessly.
I’m not scared. C and I have lots of plans for the week. We have two My Gym make-up sessions on top of our regular class. We have at least one play date scheduled (yes, with a daycare friend). We have brand new finger paints to try out. And we’re going to spend lots of time curled up on the couch reading books and cuddling.
Unlike those other parents I’m not dreading next week. I’m actually looking forward to spending the week with my baby. It’s the last week she’s going to be my only child, the last week she won’t have to share her mommy. I’m going to relish cuddling with her in the morning and sitting on the couch reading her favorite books. I’m going to love taking her to My Gym and being able to focus on her 100%. I’m even going to enjoy the play dates with the parents who don’t have a life changing event hanging over their heads.
In two weeks while they are dropping off their kids at daycare and heading to work, I’ll be dropping C off and heading to the hospital. At the end of the day they’ll be back in the swing of their routine and I’ll be starting a whole new chapter of my life. And while they get to play house just for a week, I’ll be staying home for at least three months. When you get right down to it, I’m the one who should be scared. Seriously, are they going to offer me play dates when I’m desperate for grown-up interaction?