While cuddling with Chip at bedtime on Sunday:
Mom: We have had nice, long weekend, Chip! We did lots of fun things and mommy loved being with you. Tomorrow morning, though, I have to go back to work. When…
Chip: Mom go to work. I cry!
Mom: No no no no no, baby doll. You don’t have to cry! Remem…
Chip: I cry mom work.
At this point Chip looks over at his dad for, I assume, confirmation that he is, indeed, right. His dad is nodding as well. Mom’s heart, in the mean time, is breaking.
Mom: Chip, mommy does go to work, but you don’t need to cry, buddy. Daddy is here and then Emmy comes and you love Emmy! You have fun with Emmy. She loves you, buddy. Instead of crying, you can call me at work and we can talk on the phone. I love you and don’t want you to cry. Ple…
Chip: I cry mom at work.
While this whole exchange broke my heart, I also know that Chip does love Emmy, and loves being with her. The crying, I’m told, only lasts a few minutes. Then he is fine, playing with his sisters and Emmy, enjoying his day as a two year old should. As a mother, I do admit that I like hearing that Chip prefers me to all others. But I’m even happier knowing that he is happy when I can’t be there. I know he is in the best care possible when I am away. And that makes me able to bear working.
So when my fingers stumble while writing out that check that I write every week, and I think of how much I could save if we figured out some other arrangement, I try to keep what I have just written above in mind. Because honestly, I couldn’t go to work if I weren’t positive that my kids were happy.
I just can’t wait to not be writing those checks.