In just three days, I will be returning to work after my year maternity leave. I am having a difficult time with this to say the least. Every night I look at my beautiful daughter and can't help but become upset. I know I only have to return for six weeks, but as I have stated in my previous entries, this whole transition and period in time would have been and could be so much easier if I wasn't returning to a terrible situation at work.
As I play with my daughter in these last few days, I am just trying to enjoy every little smile, smirk, yell, and hug so I will have a bank of happy moments to go to when I am sitting at my desk and want to cry.
This leads me to to my story for the day, which in case you are wondering, did make me cry.
I spoke to my mother this morning and was asking her about my niece and nephew. My nephew started first grade a couple of weeks ago, and then was out sick a couple of days last week with an ear infection. Knowing how challenging this can be for any student (or teacher), I asked how he was doing in terms of his health but also in terms of his mental state. You see, when he started kindergarten, he had a little trouble transitioning. I think most children do on some level, but this was a little surprising to hear (but I am his aunt, godmother, and live 3000 miles away- so don't be surprised I don't know the day-to-day happenings with my nieces and nephews). But I was surprised because he loves to have sleepovers with Nona and Papa, loved to go to daycare a.k.a "school," and overall was great with my husband and I when we visited (considering he doesn't really know us like he knows my sister and her husband). But after a few weeks, he was okay and made it through kindergarten with flying colors.
So when I asked my mom about how first grade was going, I didn't know what to expect. Unfortunately, he is having a bit of a tough transition again. My mom explained he had a wonderful summer: played with his sister, spent a great deal of time with his mom (my sister-in-law) who was off because she is a teacher, and just enjoyed life. So my sister-in-law had that conversation most parents have with their children who have to go to school; she explained to him that he will love school, explained all the fun things to do and learn, and explained how he will see friends and make new ones. But my nephew is smart. He asked his mom to stay home- not realizing that she would still have to work (or maybe he did, but he probably thought he could convince her to let him stay home too), and when she said she couldn't, he asked her the most heartbreaking question: Can I cry at school when I miss you?
I wanted to cry when my mom told me the story. But what made me breakdown was my sister-in-law's sage response. She told him no, he couldn't cry (kids can be cruel), but every time he missed her that he should put his hand on his heart. At the same time, she would put her hand on her heart, and they would have a special connection.
I hate thinking about my nephew missing his mommy so much. I hate thinking about him holding back tears because he can't cry at school. I hate that my nephew has to feel one iota of sadness. And I hate that I understand exactly how he feels. I will be walking around with my hand permanently attached to my heart over the next few weeks.