This letter originated in the personal journals I keep for my kids. You can read more about that here. I decided to take it from the pen to the computer screen.
Sometimes, I have to leave you. More mornings than not, you are sad not to have morning snuggles and you are wanting for a slower routine.
I can't give that to you.
Sometimes, you cry when we go our separate ways each day, holding out your sweet arms for me and telling me you don't want me to leave.
I can't stay with you.
Sometimes, I look at the clock about mid day, and I realize you've had your lunch already, and you're probably going down for your nap. You're holding your sippy and you're snuggling your blanket.
I can't be there with you.
Sometimes, I wonder if you've fallen down today while riding a scooter or jumping from a swing. I wonder if you cried.
I can't kiss your "owies".
Sometimes, I text your babysitter just to tell her I miss you or ask her how you're doing. I love her, because she loves you. I love her, because she takes care of you when I can't. I love her because you love her. Each day, I give her the most important pieces of my life, and she loves you while I am away.
I can't thank her enough for that.
Sometimes, I feel bad for being away from you most days. I feel bad because I worry that you don't understand. That you don't know that if I could, I would be with you every minute. But our family doesn't work that way. Your daddy and I are away from you during the day because we love you so much, and we know that we need to take care of you.
I can't help that.
Babies, please know that when I'm away from you, you are always on my mind.
In the morning, when I stop for gas or a drink and I open up my wallet, I see you. I think of you, and I miss you.
When I sit down in my office at work, I see you. I smile, and I'm proud of you. I'm happy to show any and everyone who walks into my office that you are mine. You are perfect.
Babies, I'm sorry for all of the "can't". But though I miss you throughout the days that I can't be with you, know that I work hard because I love you. I realize that a lot of your friends have mommies or daddies that get to stay home with them all day long. Our family isn't that way, but we love you just as much as any mommy or daddy ever could.
Know that I want what's best for you. I might be sad to be away from you, sad when you reach for me and I have to leave, sad for the naps I don't get to put you down for or the lunches I don't get to feed you, but I'm at peace knowing that you're in good hands, and I am at peace because it is all because I love you.
I'm at peace, because this is the very best I can do.
I treasure the few days a week that I get to wake up and snuggle you, get to see your sweet faces marked with blanket and pillow lines after your nap, get to smile at the static in your crazy pig tails after you rolled around and played on the floor, and get to put Monsters Inc or Angry Bird bandaids on your owies.
Sometimes, I can't always be there. But I see you wherever I go, and I love you.