My step is eager as I enter the building. It's been a long day and I am looking forward to seeing him, holding him again. Before I enter the hallway that leads to his door, I can hear his frantic cries. The women who watch the door greet me, but I breeze past them un-noticing, my walk almost a run. I force myself to open the door to his room carefully in spite of my anxiety so not to bang into a little one that might be in it's path. I see him a moment later, trapped in a walker that, meant to entertain small children, has become his upright prision. I rush to him and lift him up into my arms. The moment his body touches mine his screaming quiets into thick, choking sobs. His body is hot and damp from sweat and his cheeks bear crusty trails of dried tears. I press his cheek to my own, his fresh tears wetting my face. His sobs subside and he wimpers softly as if to say "Where were you mommy?" He nestles closer and digs his hands into the fabric of my shirt, balling it in his tight little fists letting me know he is NOT going to let me go. I stroke his downy head and murmer to him softly. His panting breath finally slows, although a few hitching sighs escape. My chest is tight. Guilt, frustration, anger. I pull my face away from his just enough that I can look him in the eyes and tell him how sorry I am that I have to leave him to go to work, and that I can't leave him in a better place...but when his giant brown eyes greet mine, his face splits into a huge toothless grin. "Hi mommy!" he says, without speaking. I touch his cheek and his smile broadens even further. My aching heart amazes me by stretching further to somehow allow me to love him even more. I take a few deep breaths and gather his things together so we can leave. I hate the place, and yet I know I will be back again tomorrow.
By the time we reach the truck, he is already asleep in his carrier. I try to secure him into it's base as gently as possible so not to disturb him. He only grunts and snores a little as it locks into place. I slide into the driver seat, but before I start the engine I give myself a moment to contemplate in the silence. My emotions threaten to overwhelm me and tears sting at the back of my eyes. I feel guilt that I can't stay home with him so he doesn't have to go to daycare, and I hate the daycare for not giving him everything he needs even though I know that the nubmer of children they care for make doing so impossible. I feel guilty that I am INCAPABLE of providing him better. I think of his medical bills and know that there are soon going to be more added and I wonder how I am going to pay. I sort through my budget in my head, trying to find something else I can cut, even though I know I have gone over this a hundred times or more already and not come up with any new answers. I think of SD and his perfect new life and know that THEY aren't worrying about finding the money to pay for food or rent, and the kids that ARE NOT HIS his have new clothes, and new toys and don't have someone who has to make a choice between paying for their insurance or decent child-care. Somehow I manage to hate HIM a little bit more until it all melts into a deep, profound exhaustion and the under-current of depression that always plagues me swaddles me in it's cool, familiar grasp. And yet, I turn and touch the smooth, perfect cheek of my child and he sighs contentedly in his sleep. The love I have for him makes the struggle seem worthwhile, even if the weight of the worries never seem lighter.
Mecha-Ant Invasion Vacation
3 years ago