Who is this child?

I get very limited time with my daughter every day. I leave the house around 6:45 every morning to take her to day care. It is 20 minutes out of my way but I refuse to give this errand over to Brandon even though he works 1 mile down the street from her day care. I like seeing her for a few minutes every morning and talking to her day care provider before I make the hour commute into the office.

My day typically ends a little after 5:30 and I get in the car for another 45 minute drive home. I get home around 6:20 and the best part of my day begins. I get to spend the next few hours with Aubrey until I have to lay her down to bed at 9:00. I spend less than 3 waking hours a day with my daughter during the week. I guess this explains why I’m a bit selfish with her on the weekends. That is the only chance I get to really feel like her mom. During the week I am trying to play with her while doing laundry, cooking dinner, emptying and loading the dishwasher, vacuuming and all the other chores that keep a household from dissolving into a disheveled pile of junk mail and dog hair.

To add insult to injury, every day I come home feels like I am meeting Aubrey for the first time. She changes so drastically from day to day that she is like a new child. I swear I can see her tooth growing every day and her abilities are evolving so rapidly it’s making me dizzy. I should be there more often. I shouldn’t be able to notice such big changes because I’ve been there for their gradual progression. I have this intense feeling of guilt for chasing a better paying career so that I can help provide for my family when all I really want is to spend time with them.

There are some incredible positives to Aubrey’s maturation. Her emotions and desires are so clear now that I can’t help but to marvel at the fact that just a few months ago she was an immobile infant and now she is my shadow as I walk the house picking up her toys.

Last night when I got home I was greeted with a heart wrenchingly sweet smile. She was playing on the living room floor and when I walked in she immediately crawled over to me and stood up using my pants as hand holds. I looked down at her as her hips wobbled like a drunken hula dancer and her eyes said, “I’m so glad you’re home! Pick me up!”

Later that night as I was putting dishes away I was careful to keep the bottom basket pushed in because she has used it to stand up in the past and it isn’t attached to anything so I didn’t want her dragging it out on top of her if she fell over. She stood leaning on the dishwasher’s open door as I paced the kitchen and while my back was turned rearranging a cabinet to make room Brandon came into the kitchen to check on us. I heard him say, “Well look at you!” from behind me and I turned to see Aubrey IN the dishwasher, proudly reaching for the upper basket preparing to stand.

So now my daughter is climbing. There’s one more thing that changed in the blink of an eye. She is so amazing I can hardly believe she is really mine. What did I do to be so blessed?


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November 2008
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