Over the last five years my daughter has attended day care. Literally, at 13 weeks old I dropped her off for the first time and headed to work in the hopes that the woman caring for her was truly all I had been told she was.
It’s hard to find the words to describe how extremely difficult it is to leave the most precious thing in your life in the hands of someone you’ve probably met a couple of times and were referred to by a mutual friend or family member.
It took a day ~ a single day ~ for me to realize that my daughter Ally could not have been in more capable, caring and dependable hands.
Over time Ally and I developed a bond with her that will never be broken. She was the mother that I could not be when I was working and away. And, although saddened by moments missed with her, I am grateful that she had “another mother” to share these moments with. And that is exactly who Heather is.
Heather is “the other mother”. She has changed diapers, dried tears, shared laughter and taught Midge more than you can possibly imagine. But, most of all, she has given her a sense of security and belonging… A home away from home ….. She has given her love.
When I pick Ally up at night, every night, she hugs Heather and says… in her tiny little voice….
“Good bye Heather, I love you.”
She never forgets, because she means it.
Next week, when Ally starts school, she will say good-bye to Heather, and it will mean something entirely different. To Ally, it will mean – she has “graduated” and is no longer “a day care kid” (this is a very, very big deal to her)… It will mean to Heather – saying good by to another little person whose life she has touched in such a positive way. And, for me, it will mean starting a new chapter and not having Ally’s “other mother” there every day to rely on and care for her.
It’s scary ~ but Heather and I both know she’s ready. The question is - are we?
Our lives change. People come and go, and some will hold a permanent place in our hearts. In my family, Heather will always be one of those people, and for all she has done and more, she will always be Ally’s “other mother”.
Everyone should be so fortunate as to have a “Heather” in their lives. I am so very thankful we found ours.