The Day Has Come

The hardest part about being a parent is letting go.

The house is quiet, except for the low whirring and whooshing of the washing machine. It’s an overcast day, unusually cool and windy for August. The light is on in my office. I’m staring at the computer screen, contemplating what to write.

It’s my first official morning back to work as a freelance writer. And it’s Maggie’s first official morning at school. I can’t help but wonder what she’s up to at this very moment. She’s at a local daycare/preschool, interacting with other kids and getting acclimated to a brand new schedule.

I miss her already.

For the past two years, I have cared for Maggie as a stay-at-home mom—much of my everyday experience chronicled in this blog. I did some freelance writing here and there, never taking on too much and passing on certain gigs that were too time-consuming. Maggie came first and rightfully so. She was my main concern, my main focus. And I had agreed to take on that responsibility.

Now, Maggie and I have entered into a new phase of life. From this day forward, I’ll never get to experience those two full years of staying home with her again. While I’m a little sad over the loss of that bond, I also have cause to smile. There are so many other wonderful things we’ll both get to experience, individually and together, from here on out. She’s in an environment where she can learn, grow and play with kids her own age. She’s on her own for the first time in her short life.

How scary and exciting for the both of us!

I didn’t grow up wanting to be a stay-at-home mom. I grew up wanting to be a writer. I know some women aspire to be housewives, and that’s great. It’s the most difficult and rewarding job I’ve ever taken on. But I entered into that role knowing that it wasn’t going to be a permanent gig. As much as I loved being home with my daughter, a part of me missed these early mornings sitting alone at my desk, with the familiar sounds of washing machines, clicking keys and my iTunes playlist in the background. I knew that eventually, Maggie would reach an age when she would skip off to a school setting and be with other kids, and I would sit back down at my desk and type away at the computer. This day was inevitable.

But I never imagined it would arrive so fast.