Tomorrow is Norah's last day with Pam and Ruby. On Monday she starts preschool. She is thrilled and excited (and in her words, "just a little tiny bit nervous.") I am the one who is all worked up about it and not sleeping at night. (I mean, what if none of the kids talk to her, what if she gets shy and won't tell the teacher she has to potty, what if someone is mean to her, what if she realizes neither Pam or Ruby are there and gets really, really sad??)
We are so fortunate to have had our child care situation these past 2 years. It was tough for me to leave Norah when I went back to work (even though I was SO ready to go back and never regretted it for a single second). It was the best of both worlds. She got a caregiver who could focus almost exclusively on her needs, while getting the benefit of having another kid to play and interact with. A kid, who in Norah's words, "is my very, very best friend."
Pam was an ideal caregiver. We couldn't have dreamed up someone better to take care of our girl. I have been weepy about it for days, but I know that we will still see Ruby at least once a week at our standing play date and we will see Pam often as well. She and Norah have a very special bond and I know she will be someone tremendously important to Norah for years to come. We were eating breakfast a few weeks ago and Norah was talking about all the people in her family (she likes to put relationships together, ie, identify "Aunt Amy is married to Uncle Mark" or "Aunt Vanessa is Daddy's sister"). At one point she asked, "are Pamma and Ruby my family too?" I started to tell her that no, they are very, very good friends, but then I thought better of it and told her yes. That you don't have to be related to someone for them to be family and Pamma and Ruby are most definitely her family.
Here they are shortly before Pam started taking care of them both:
and here they are just a few weeks ago:
Little babies became great, big, awesome kids. We couldn't have asked for anything more.