Just a little tighter...
So I did it....I finally did it. After an entire year of being over protective, I finally left McKaylee in a childcare-type setting. I wanted to go to the gym today but it just didn't seem to work with my schedule. I had to take McKaylee to the hospital at 8 this morning for an antibiotic infusion, we didn't get home until lunch time and by then all of my "family babysitters" were at work. You see, since she was diagnosed with cancer, I just haven't been able to bring myself to leave my little girl in any type of nursery. Even at church, I cringe when I walk past the "classrooms" with all of the little toddlers running about, wiping their noses on everything and pushing everyone down as they go. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against childcare and, in fact, took full advantage of every childcare situation possible when Landen was little. The thing is, he was healthy, he could defend himself, he was just as wild, rough and tumble as all the other kids around him. My little McKaylee is so meek and timid around other children and it makes me so nervous to think about leaving her. I guess I could be just a tad over protective in this regard, but I think I own that right.
So today as I was realizing that my gym day would just have to wait until tomorrow, it occurred to me that I could actually take her to the "Kids Club", as they call it, while I went running. I called my husband, my mom, then my husband again to talk it over and see what they thought. They both seemed to think it was okay. Her immune system is up to snuff, she seems healthy enough and she definitely needs to be socialized a little bit with other children. So I waited until Landen got out of school this afternoon and off to the gym we went. I felt better knowing that Landen would be with her, at least she would have him by her side to protect her. She didn't seem to mind when I walked out, I didn't hear any cries or screams, but still fully expected to be paged to the nursery five minutes after I left. Surprisingly, it never happened. It seemed like my workout lasted forever and all I really wanted to do was run back downstairs and hold her, but I resisted. I knew she would be okay and I also knew that sometimes I need to give her a little bit of space to grow without me right there beside her.
When I was finally done with my run, I jumped off the treadmill and almost sprinted back to the nursery. When I walked in, what I saw broke my heart. For there were probably 12 kids in there, all running around, jumping, laughing, yelling, playing.....and there was my little McKaylee, literally in the middle of it all, sitting quietly in the floor with her passy in her mouth and her blanket up to her face. She looked so lost, so scared and so out of place that it took everything in me to stay composed. And tonight as I rocked her to sleep, I cried. I know, I am completely crazy but just that picture in my head of her sitting all alone, looking so little in the midst of all these children, was too much for me. I felt like I left her, like she might have been sitting there wondering where Mommy was, when was I coming back, and something about that tears me up inside. This is probably one of those times where I could clearly assess that I have a strong over-protective relationship with my little girl. But after everything she's been through, after all the tears she's cried, all the pain she's endured, the impossible battle she's fought, is it so wrong that I just want to hold her forever and never let her go? I dunno, maybe I am crazy, but that's fine with me. One day I'll tackle the whole stage of "letting go" and giving her room to breathe, but for now, I think I'll just hold on a little tighter.