I hit the road after the tea. I breathe slowly as I turn the corner to pick up my younger daughter from the neighbor’s house. With all my trepidation about leaving her, my older daughter loved having me to herself. The Tea went great. The songs the class performed were beautiful. The tea and strawberry shortcake at the tiny tables was precious. I felt very guilty that all the while I was having time at the pre-school, I had one eye on the clock.
I place the homemade gift my pre-schooler made in class for me on the passenger seat. The bookmark with her picture and drawing is the best gift I have ever received. Her pride shined so bright when she handed it to me. It washed away my worry and mixed guilt that has plagued my heart once the invite came home from school. I knew I owed her this time. Life is too busy trying to balance it all.
I do trust the house that is taking care of my younger girl. In fact, we are trading play dates and taking care of her younger child that afternoon, that way she can take her son to the afternoon tea. I felt such a worry during the whole hour. I pictured her crying and wailing looking for me. I left her quickly to not have a long good-bye. In my pocket was my cellphone which I discreetly checked frequently.
With all my restraint, I carefully parked the car in their driveway and locked the car. I ran up the stairs and tapped on the door. My ear is on high alert expecting to hear her cries. Silence. My neighbor answers and invites me in to stay for a bit. I go up the stairs scanning to where she is.
I say hello as she races by to the next box of toys. The other kids say hello to me. All three kids are playing with delight. After talking for a few minutes my daughter realizes I am there and clings onto my legs motioning to be picked up. I squeeze her tight looking for any signs of a red face. Seeing none, I breathe with a huge sigh of relief. She is okay. I let her down so she can play a bit longer.
We say our goodbyes and pack up in the car. I slip into the driver’s side and look back at her. Her happy face is the balm on my heart. She was, and is okay. I back out of the driveway and laugh at myself. After all that worry of accepting help, we are both just fine. By accepting a helping hand I broke out of my comfort zone.