As predicted by most of you, Thalia was just fine. Hunky-dory. A-okay. I spent the morning trying to reach Nate (phone off, sleeping, hangover) in a panic all while Thalia was happily ensconced in play.
She asked me to make a card for her while I was at work, and she would make one for me too. I drew her a smiling sun and the two of us holding hands. It looks about as good as her drawings at this point. She drew me a photo of the two of us floating on a double raft together at Atlantis.
She tells me she wants us to go back, but this time, to bring everyone in her class and all of their families.
I tell her that I would have to work a loooooot of hours to be able to afford that.
"That's okay," she says. "You can just come home late and tuck us in in our sleep like you do now, and then see us on weekends."
In my head, I replayed the story Jaelithe told yesterday in a post called To My Friends Who Work Outside the Home that she wrote in part in response to mine. As a former nanny, Jaelithe remembers her charges also crying when their mother left the house to head to her writing job and the guilt that mother must have carried with her all day. But the story doesn't end there.
Five or ten minutes after she left, the kids would recover completely, and start laughing and playing with me just as they did on the days when their mother was in the next room.
Sometimes, the older girl would get out a box and pretend to type on it as if it were a computer.
"I'm a Mommy. I'm working," she would say. "I'm a writer writing things."
And that little girl would sound so proud.
It's not such a horrible thing, to make our children proud. Through our actions, through our work, through our commitment to them and those in our lives.
I have to remind myself that the choices we make now as parents aren't just to get our children through the days. It's to get them through their lives.