Jane's home away from home is the Chickadee room at her daycare. This room is split in half; one side is for babies 6 weeks to 1 year, the other side is for babies and toddlers ages 1 to 2 years. As you know, Jane started daycare when she was 13 weeks old, and just recently moved over to the more grown-up side of the Chickadee room, where I can only imagine they debate politics and the economy all day.
A woman, who I will call ML, is the head teacher of this room. She is probably in her late 40s, and has been working in the daycare biz for a long time. In fact, she and her second in command, who I will call A, have been working together for eight years. A is younger, in her mid-20s. Anyway, ML has been a really great resource to us in this stumbling, bumbling first year of parenthood, and while she surely says this to all of the parents, she claims to us that Jane is her favorite. And I eat it right up. ML has been Jane's main influence, aside from me and Greg, in her 11.5 months of life.
And now she's leaving. As I was dropping Jane off this morning, ML let me know that her last week is next week. And as much as I complain about daycare, having to bring Jane there, how much I wish I was a millionaire so I could stay home all day with her, how she's sick all the time, the hassle, the bills - I got all choked up. My eyes filled with tears and I got a big lump in my throat the second she told me the news. I could tell she was very upset too - she is leaving to take care of some family issues, and she told me how much she was going to miss Jane.
Jane loves ML. Every time I drop her off, she gets a big grin on her face as soon as she sees ML. This morning she was practically lurching out of my arms to go to ML. And sure, she's not old enough to ponder what happened to the nice lady who took care of her every day, but her daily reaction to ML makes me so grateful that ML has so obviously done such a wonderful job taking care of my daughter.
Don't get me wrong, I am happy with all of the primary teachers in Jane's room, and the rumor is that A will take over ML's position, which makes me happy for her. But I guess today I realized how much I depend on knowing that Jane is with people who genuinely care about her well-being. And ML is most definitely one of those people.