I love my daughter. I love her small snoring sounds as I kiss her in the quiet stillness of pre-Dawn. The cat that cannot tolerate her during her waking hours is curled at her feet, content in her nearness and warmth. I creep out silent at 4:30am and drive to work.
I put a smile on my face. I play the part; I'm your biggest fan, your support, the one whose always got your back, your cheerleader. GO TEAM! RA RA RA! I make it look easy, effortless, when in reality it takes every ounce of courage I have to leave her there, sleeping. It is gut wrenching, the need to shield and protect her, it defies reason and leaves me raw. It is like having my heart on the outside of my body, un protected, on display. The guilt is my constant companion. My BFF.
Each night during our bedtime ritual she states ; "mommy no work" with such conviction that I almost believe it myself. I want to believe it. I also want to pay my bills. She remembers the time I didn't work, those blissful 3 years where I was her world and she my only priority (much to her father's dismay). Those days seemed endless then, but end they did. I returned to the workforce when she was three almost four. We were desperate as my Husband hadn't worked for 9 months. I landed the job the day after her evaluation for autism.
I lament the time lost. I HAD all that time and I DIDN'T KNOW what to do with it. I didn't know what I had..... or what she had......
I'm sorry sweet girl, I didn't know.
I'm going to try and make it better. I promise.