Today marks the eighth day that Jordy has been in childcare. And also the eighth day that I've experienced four seasons of emotions in one day.
The mornings start out like Spring; you wonder what the day will bring. Everything hints of possibility and new-ness. Jordy smiles and feasts on breakfast like the nestling that he is. We read some stories and play his favourite music.
An hour later and Jordy is dressed for childcare and suddenly Autumn is here. He seems slightly older in his yellow and blue outfit, and the spring in my step is suddenly gone, replaced with a little heaviness that mirrors the weight in my heart. The colours of the morning seem a little muted now.
He gets into the car happily enough, even smiles at his little robot backpack. We pull up the driveway of his little school and he senses the first frost in the air. He is tentative, but still puts on a brave face as we walk into the din that is morning drop-off time. He understands what is to happen when I remove his shoes and rub some insect repellent on him. He is in denial though, and only really cries out when he sees his teacher coming to get him. When she carries him into the Centre - and to his new routine in the day - Winter blasts its icy entrance into my heart and I always freeze for a moment. Don't move, lest he cries more. But then I regain my senses, and walk briskly to the car. Pause, deep breath, and drive off.
The next six hours pass in a bit of a blur - of activity, of emotion, of movement. I run errands, I catch up with friends, I watch a movie alone, I read in a cafe, have a pedicure, take my time while choosing produce at the market, I listen to a lot of music. Winter gradually gives way, warmth creeps back, Spring again.
Three o'clock. I pack a couple of his snacks, some sand toys, perhaps a ball, and drive to the centre, my heart beating a little faster than usual. I reverse park in the driveway, stop the car. Pause, deep breath. Wonder what he will be doing when I next lay eyes on him. What expression will be on his face.
Every single time I see him, he is always happy, always busy, and pretty content. His eyes widen with recognition, and he runs up to me. Never clinging, but always to show me something he's learnt, or a new favourite toy. This afternoon, it was a pasta music shaker he made himself. I leave him in Winter, and return in Summer.
And if there's one thing to remember, it's that kids have fun in Winter too.