Nearly every weekday morning for the last two years, I’ve had a little friend ride with me to and from work. We’ve had many conversations via the rearview mirror – my youngest child, now 5, buckled into a car seat in the back, and myself in the front as I drove to work and dropped him off at daycare just across the street.
We’ve talked about his school, his friends, his fears, his toys, how much we loved each other — googleplex plus googleplex times infinity plus 180 or so – and, most recently the latest superpowers that he acquired from a friend, including his laser eyes, ability to spawn tornadoes and hands that could freeze anything they touched. Some days, all he wanted to do was clench his green blanket and suck his thumb, a relaxing end to a long day, but now, at age 5, he’s growing up and moving out of that stage.
So today, I’m sad, as I have been for the last several weeks: I dropped off and picked up my youngest son at the OPUBCO Child Development Center for the last time. Today was his last day, and after next week, the doors to the wonderful facility will close for good. The teachers and staff and aides are outstanding, and I hate to say good-bye to them and the happy place that’s done so much good for children through the years.
As families have found other places for their children to attend, it’s become more and more like a ghost town lately, but the teachers still there continue to be dedicated and committed to the well being of the remaining children.
I’ve loved the childcare center (thanks, OPUBCO, for running it all these years), but I’ve cherished even more this one-on-one time with my son, daily alone moments that are hard to grab with any of my children, since there are three of them and only one of me. As the youngest, he’s had even less of me than the others because I’m spread thinner, now single and working full time, which I didn’t do when the older two, now 8 and nearly 10, were his age.
So for now, that daily one-on-one time is over. I’m so thankful I had it and hope to figure out a way to carve out more of it with each of my children amid the daily busyness. Any ideas?
~ Lillie-Beth Brinkman (firstname.lastname@example.org)