Can you guess what the most favorite part of my work day is? Of course you can. It’s going to pick up The Muffin. That may sound cliche or trite, but seriously, it’s a feeling that I can’t fully express, but I will try my darndest.

I’d be lying if I said that I absolutely hate leaving her (though it’s tough) and think of her all day long and can’t wait to see her again. I actually don’t mind working (especially part time) and think it may even make me a better mom. I like getting dressed in my nice clothes, going to work, getting to have some adult conversations and feeling quasi-professional. Of course, there are aspects of my particular job that make me hate going, but that’s a whole other blog post. I must confess that I go for long stretches throughout the day without thinking of my baby, not because I don’t love her or miss her, but because I’m necessarily consumed with other work-related thoughts like What is that kid doing in the back of the classroom? Do I have lunch duty today? Why was it that I thought teaching journalism again would be fun?…

Every once in a while I will catch a glimpse of Charlie’s photo smiling at me from my desk, and my heart aches for her as I smile back, but then it’s back to shepherding 32 sixth graders through the morass of English grammar and trying to impress upon them the wonderful power of words.

Then my teaching day ends, and as I walk to my car, something very strange and very powerful happens– as weird as it sounds, I remember that I have a beautiful baby girl, I realize I’m on my way to see her, and a sense of anticipation washes over me that I can only compare to a five-year-old’s feeling upon waking on Christmas morning.

I make the drive to Burbank, and, with every mile closer, I can feel my heart swell and my grin get wider. I get off the freeway exit and navigate the side streets. I pull up to Horace Mann. I walk up the steps and through the office, greeting the school’s director and receptionist, and walk to the classroom. When I finally reach the door that says “Infant Room,” I pause, take a deep breath, and, for a final moment, bask in the joy of that anticipation, knowing that on the other side of the door is a big smile and, with any luck, a big, slimy, open-mouthed love bite for my waiting cheek.

I sometimes feel a little guilty for what my husband finally caught on to the other day: Hey, I have to be the bad guy who brings her to daycare and has to wait until she’s distracted enough with toys to sneak out! Maybe one of these days I’ll have to let him be the “rescuer” and pick her up, because everyone should know that feeling. There’s nothing quite like it.

Comments are closed.