I have a friend whose family immigrated to the United States after fleeing from an authoritarian, genocidal regime. My friend just had a baby, and observed privately that her mom doesn’t much care about the things we find joy in — hobbies, careers, simply living — but that the baby… “babies are life.” And her gift to her mother is that joy that we all take for granted, which her mom is finally finding in the baby.
Today as I dropped my baby off at daycare, and watched her run around like crazypants with her friend Max, and then show Audrey and Elaine her painting she made last night, and listening to her tell Miss Molly and Miss Elaina about how she had potato soup for breakfast… I wanted to cry. That’s life. Right there. And how lucky am I that I can go have the career I love while leaving the kid I love at a place where she is so incredibly happy?
I stopped on the way out of daycare to tell Miss Lori that I was grateful, and nearly started to cry. I’m exhausted. Justin’s sick, Gwyn is 3, I need to work more than I am to stay caught up, the stupid Christmas tree is still up, the laundry is overflowing, my husband and I are sniping at each other because we’re both tapped out and then we’re sad about being jerks, and I have a migraine brewing. So I walked from Childcare to my office chanting “You can do this. You CAN do this.” Then I noticed a student ID card on the ground. I picked it up, and turned it in at the PACES office, thinking about how that student needs her ID to eat today. When I got to my office I emailed her, telling her that her ID had been turned in, because if that’s her lunch card, well. She needs it.
And that’s how I’m going to do it. I’m going to do it one small kindness at a time. Thanking Miss Lori. Returning the student’s ID. Nominating staff members for awards. Helping every student I can help. Raising my child. Loving my husband and building a home. Bringing joy where I can, and safety and comfort where joy isn’t possible.
Please do the same.