Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Daycare & Moving?

And so it begins.


Aka, OMG, My Little Girl is Growing Up.

Today, as students across Canada return to school and embark on a new year of learning, we too joined the throngs of parents preparing their children for their busy day ahead.

Our sweet Petite is now in daycare.

We've prepared her as much as possible for the transition. We have spent a number of days with the caregiver at her home, and with the other children. We fed her there, let her play there, nap there and just enjoy her day in the company of the caregiver and the kids.

However, on this day, I had to walk out and close the door behind me, leaving our daughter in the (very capable!) caregiver's arms. All went well, and I dropped her off at the appointed time with no trouble, complete with a ton of stuff that she'll need in the days ahead.

Diapers, wipes, change pad
Stuffed toy, receiving blanket
Bottles, sippy cup
Baby cereals, veggies, homogenized milk
Sunscreen, teething medicines, an extra soothie and a hat (though she hates hats; I doubt she'll wear it at all!)
Extra sets of clothing; for cool and warm weather
Slippers/shoes for inside the house
List of foods she's tried or enjoys
An approximate schedule of her days at our home

I laid down the bags in the caregiver's house. As I placed Petite in the caregiver's arms, I had a few moments to say hello to some of the other parents and their kids who were right behind me when I dropped Petite off. Amid all the "I love you's" and "See you laters" from the kids and their parents, I kissed Petite, stroked her head, whispered "I love you. Je t'aime ma Petite," and told the caregiver I would call later to check on her. She said, "Have a good day, Mom." And with that and one last kiss, I said "Bye bye," waved to my baby girl, Petite waved bye bye to me, and I turned and left.

No tears.

Okay, not MANY tears.

She's in great hands, and that's what is important to me.

I called about an hour ago to get an update and she's doing great. The caregiver told me about her morning, her food, nap and her day in general. All is going perfectly. I could not ask for more.

Thinking about Making a Move
As Petite is growing up, I think about where I want her to go to school. I wonder about the environment in which we want to raise her. I would like her to develop a close relationship with my parents even though they are very far away. (Hubby's parents are here, but alas, they're not close with us at all. I sometimes wish they were.)

I see too that my parents are getting older; my father will be 70 next year and later on this month, Mom and Dad will celebrate 45 years of marriage. They aren't as young as they once were, and I realize that and recognize it every time I return to my home province to visit them. Dad no longer drives, and Mom cannot walk all that well. So even simple errands can be a chore. Nevertheless, having a house like theirs is not going to be possible much longer; there are too many stairs, too much upkeep and it's frankly much larger than they need. Mom told me a few weeks ago that "You do realize that this might be the last time you're in this house." I knew the day was coming, but I guess I envisaged it a little further in the future. It was sad to earmark items that I might want to have in my home when/if the house goes up for sale.

I expect that in the spring, Mom and Dad will put the house on the market and probably move into a retirement condo. One where Dad doesn't have to worry about seeing well enough to mow the lawn (and do a good job!) or Mom won't ache as she gets up and down stairs. I sort of hoped they might consider moving a little closer to me, but I certainly understand why they want to stay in their home province.

And I see too that many things have changed there, but much has stayed the same. I still have a great network of friends and family there of course; people who are amazing and on whom I can count at every turn. (Sometimes I wonder if I have that here in the capital.)

Hubby is in school at the moment, and will be for another two years. He finishes in April 2012. After that... where to? Do we stay here or do we contemplate moving back east? His skills will be easily transferable, though mine a little less so. But if I start looking now, who knows?

Two recent events have brought this to the forefront for me:

Firstly, my brother-in-law is burying his 62-year old father today. Mike's death was quite sudden and we were quite shocked on Saturday to learn of his passing. He's been ill in recent months (uncontrolled diabetes has essentially ravaged his body) so while it's been a decline, his death was unexpected at this point. It just underlines how much we need to cherish the loved ones that we do have with us and make the most of every moment.

Secondly, a recent post by Steph at Finding Chaos. Steph and Carey are raising their three children and just made the move from California to Florida to be closer to their families. Steph writes:
"We’ve now been “home” in Florida for 6 weeks. I can tell you that in the weeks and even days leading up to our big move, we questioned whether it was the correct decision. I think even the night before we embarked on our cross country journey, while we lay on an air mattress in our empty house, we wondered out loud if we were making the right decision for our family. I think it’s always easier to stay put. Change takes risk. It’s not that things were bad in California. Quite the contrary actually. They were great! I had an amazing job, Carey also had a great work situation… my children were in good hands with our nanny whom they loved dearly and we had a great group of friends who had become our California chosen family. Yet it was the distance from our actual family that was the impetus for the move. Having my daughter hug the computer when she wanted to hug her Gamma on sk.ype is no way to grow up."

Right there my friends, right THERE is why I want to move back home. Something to think about. Something to think long and hard about.

Love to all in blogland. Until next time.


Kakunaa said...

My husband and I are a bicoastal family, and it's been 18 months since we moved and since we have seen his family. It sucks. I know how hard that is, and now that a baby is on the way, it is that much harder...I hope you are able to come to the right decision for you :)

Patti said...

Taking into account that my Mom has been gone less than a year and it still breaks my heart, can I put in my two cents?

Your heart is telling you what to do. Your friends will always be there. least the good ones will be.

The time Petite can have with your parents is precious. Every. Single. Moment. If you can give her more of that, then do it.

I thank my lucky stars that this is where my Mom and Dad chose to settle once Mom got sick, and that I was back here after living in a couple provinces and being away from them.

Though Jack will have no memories of my Mom, I have pictures that show him exactly how much she adored him. More importantly, as Mom's health declined and she became more and more sad, all I had to do was bring Jack over and she lit up. Being able to make my Mom smile was the most wonderful feeling in the world.

Nothing can replace that.

But that's just my opinion. :o)

Carey said...

Making the move back to FL was the best decision we ever made. I love being close to my family and having my kids know where they come from. Do I miss things in CA? Of course. I came across this quote while we were in the decision making process about moving - It all begins and ends with family. Those words moved me... literally. Good luck in your decision!