The day inched along, slow minute by slow minute. I was alone in my section of the office today; some people were on vacation, others were at conferences. I cranked up some tunes and got to work pretty fast, but it was one of those days where the clock seems stuck and no matter how often you look at it the hands haven’t moved.
I made a bajillion phone calls and answered a thousand emails. I put out a few fires and avoided some disasters. And then, finally, just as I was ready to give up hope, it was 4:45 p.m. and it was time to tidy up and go get the girls.
I answered a last few frantic phone calls and finally tore myself away from my desk. I jumped into the car and hightailed it towards C and Little L’s daycare. I pull into the driveway and throw the car into park. Now that my work day is over I’m perking up. The sounds of children playing greet me as I push the door open. I pause for a minute and drink in the bubbling voices and crystal laughs. I listen for Little L, but I can’t hear her chirps amongst the older voices; she must be napping. I step into the room and stand unnoticed for a minute. I love watching C interact with her daycare buddies. She plays so nicely with these children that’s she’s grown-up alongside. Today she and another little girl are playing with a stuffed elephant. I think they’re pretending to grocery shop, at least that’s what it looks like as they push the elephant around in a toy shopping cart.
I clear my throat and C looks up.
“Momma!” She squeals and rushes towards me. I scoop her up and give her a huge hug. She hugs me back and then pushes her way out of my arms. As soon as her feet hit the ground she’s off and running back to her friends. I shoot the breeze with another mom for a few minutes until I can’t wait any more. I need to hold Little L. I find her all bundled up, sleeping soundly in a bouncy seat in a quiet room. I scoop her up without waking her up and hold her tightly. The smell of her sweet sweat fills my nose, lifting my spirits even higher. She cracks and eye and smiles broadly when she sees me. I unswaddle her and she nuzzles her face into my neck. Then she grabs my face in both hands and smacks her mouth against my cheek, her version of a kiss.
“My baby! My baby is awake!” C has found us and is making a beeline for my knees. I kneel down and hug them both. And right then everything is just right. I have my girls with me again and we’re about to go home for a few hours of family time. It’s not going to be all giggles and fun. I’m sure there’s going to be at least one tantrum, but that’s OK, more hugs and kisses will make it well worth the hassles.