Breaking up is hard to do

by Angela on December 29, 2011 · 4 comments

Tonight when I picked Max up from daycare, I finally told Nora that we were moving. I felt devastated, like we were breaking up.

Nora and Max (7-months-old)

Max at 7 months, on his first day at Nora's daycare.

She was holding Max, who nuzzled into her shoulder. Her eyes grew moist, she mustered a smile, hugged him tighter and said, “Well, I’m sure Max will do fine.” My voice cracked as I replied, “I don’t know if we will do okay without you.”

Nora runs an in-home, licensed daycare here in Las Vegas, where we sent Max to when he was 7 months old. We skeptically found her through a referral service that posted on Craigslist, and since she was just 1 mile away, we gave her a try. I was going back to work full-time, and although Mike worked at night, he would have rehearsals a few afternoons a week. Max had typically screamed around strangers, but to our pleasant surprise, he took to Nora and her sons immediately. The first day we dropped him off, he didn’t even look back at us (we were wrecks!). Turned out, he loved it there. Her home was lively and warm. Her three sons enjoyed playing with Max. He learned to socialize with all the kids. That fact spared us the guilt of bringing him in the first place. We knew he was in good hands.

Even when I quit the job 6 weeks in, we kept him going to Nora’s so that I could continue to freelance from home and focus on starting our business, Too Cool For Drool. And occasionally, Mike and I would take an afternoon to go out for lunch and see a movie — which has helped remind us to still “date” each other, amidst the sleep deprivation and lifestyle shock of being new parents. Without any of our own family here in Vegas, Nora’s been our steady, saving grace. She not only takes care of Max, but she makes learning an everyday priority — even for the babies. I believe she’s a big reason why by 14 months he was counting to 10, knew his ABCs, colors, and some sign language, and made a medley of animal sounds on command. Now, at 17 months, he’s starting to count in Spanish and in Mandarin. There’s no way that’s all from Mike and I.

I’ve been dragging my feet, dreading having to tell Nora about our move. Actually notifying her makes it all the more real that we will be without outside support on the road — that it will be all Mike and I. And that scares us, and makes the tour feel somewhat lonely. What will we miss the most about Vegas? Nora. We know we are good parents to Max. But we also believe that we can’t — and shouldn’t — be his everything.

Max today (17-months-old) with Nora

Max today (17-months-old) with Nora

Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to find another Nora on the road. Perhaps we’ll befriend other families and Max will have some steady playmates. Yes, he’s not even 1.5 years old yet, but there’s an independence that I wish for him. I was painfully shy as a child, so scared of everything and everyone. I want my son to be open, adventurous, and brave. We’re about to travel across the country — something tells me he will be, out of necessity!

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

cindit0 December 30, 2011 at 12:55 am

I can’t imagine what it feels like but I can see Max has parents who love him dearly and are very mindful of his best interests. Opportunities for learning are everywhere. Sounds like Nora is irreplaceable and so is the road to come! Maybe she can give you some lesson plans for the road? :) I’m excited for your journey!

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Angela December 30, 2011 at 6:04 am

Hi Cindy! Yes, opportunities to learn are everywhere — and I have a feeling, there will be plenty of learning going on for Max’s parents! Sometimes I feel like asking for help every hour of the day. Parenthood is like getting hired for a new job that contains responsibilities and skills you’ve only observed. We are learning as we go, but we also can rest easy knowing we won’t be fired!

I am so glad you commented. It’s nice to hear from an old friend. :)

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