Although A is only 2 an a few months I don’t think I’ve missed a first. First steps, first word, first smile, first fall down the stairs, first cupcake, I even caught her first roll over with my old blackberry video – I apologize for the bad quality , the Blue Rodeo blaring and me screaming (so you might want to turn down the volume for this, there’s a very slow build up so feel free to skip to about 1:45)
A’s First Rollover – video link
But wait I have missed A FIRST.
I went back to work full time when A was 10 months old, she wasn’t walking yet, to me she was still so little. The contract was a year long and another like that wouldn’t come available to me for some time. I felt I needed to work. I was a going to be a working mom.
IT WAS HARD.
One of the hardest days was the day I missed a FIRST. In the beginning a friend nannied for us (we lost daycare a week before going back to work). She was great, sent daily photo updates to my phone and I had absolute faith in her. I devoured every message she sent me.
But then she sent me THE MISSING FIRST VIDEO!
I had taken A to Strong Start several times and she’d never gathered the courage to go thru the tunnel. But while I was working – She did it. I was happy for her, devastated for me. I put my head down and didn’t talk to anyone the rest of the day. I couldn’t speak, the tears were one breath away. I rushed out the front doors at 6pm and burst into tears, my heart racing, the cold February air not cold enough to numb my feelings. I wanted to quit work right there. What if I missed her first full step, her first day of school, her first dance recital, her first soccer game, her first heart ache. My brain ran wild with failure, missing everything for what- My own stubbornness to be a women who can do it all: Career and Motherhood. I was raised to have a career, I could do both.
Missing A FIRST shattered all future paths I had laid out. I cried and cried in front of the my friend and her boyfriend (who I met that evening), I cried in my husbands arms and I cried to sleep.
I needed to work, but I needed flexibility if I was going to survive trying to have a Career and be a Mom.
Fast forward to this week. Daycare was going to the PNE… I was going to miss a First. I tried to put on a brave face, my husband saw thru it. I needed to go. It might be silly to most but I can’t miss a first. It makes me physically sick.
I’m amazingly lucky to be working at Atomic Cartoons right now. They walk the talk about family comes first; I was able to work till noon then meet daycare at the PNE, and go back to work in the evening when my husband was home.
Let me now bask in the glow of PNE FIRSTS.
My daughter won her FIRST PRIZE
She popped balloons and “won” a pink bear. She was proud of herself and cuddled her pink bear tight against her cheek as if it was actually soft and cuddly. Two nights later that prize has been added to her bedtime collection of stuffies.
Our FIRST PNE RIDE TOGETHER.
The Carrousel – She picked the perfect horse, sat on it proudly watching the other kids around her, wondering what was going to happen. Then the carrousel started to turn and the horse went up and down. She was amazed. I watched her wonderment and fought back happy tears. How lucky was I to share this moment with her. I tried to be quiet to let her soak it in. (not an easy feat for me)
She went on her FIRST RIDE BY HERSELF!
The little boat ride. An older girl who sat in the front of the boat with her own little brother asked her name and eased my daughters initial trepidation. The ride started to move and with a big smile she grabbed the steering wheel and searched for me – she wanted to show me how much fun she was having! I soaked up the visual and yelled her name every time she came around my way.
All I have left to say is thank you. Thank you daycare for going, thank you Atomic Cartoons for being totally fine with my split shift, and thank you to my husband for knowing I needed to go and giving me just enough of a hand squeeze to help me feel I could go.