Maternity leave is officially over. In the morning, we will take two girls to day care instead of just one. Tonight, I wrote her name inside three changes of clothes and along the edge of a new blanket, and in a few minutes, I’ll pile them up by the door with a box of diapers.
I sobbed when I dropped Alice off for day care the first time.
I don’t know if I will tomorrow.
It’s the end of a particularly cozy and gentle time for us, she and I getting to know each other.
And she is still so small. It isn’t easy.
Our first weeks home alone together, I wore sweatpants for days on end, and we didn’t venture far from the living room.
More recently, while I was working parttime, she came to meetings with me. Sometimes, she slept through them, but more often, she sat on my lap, babbling away. Cheerful as sunshine and convinced that anyone talking was talking to her. (A lot of times she was right).
She is working hard at reaching at grabbing. She flings her arms out clumsily and flails away for whatever it is she wants.
And eventually she catches it. But she has not figured out how to let go at will, so she cries in frustration when she can’t drop whatever it is she is holding.
It’s easy to forget how deliberate it all is in the beginning.