This afternoon the boys and I were reading books. Jackson brought over a photo book of him when he was a baby. He pointed to a shot of himself when he was about 4 months old, wearing a Tigger costume. It was his first Halloween. Jackson spotted a toy in the picture he didn't recognize (because yes, this kid has a mental catalog of every toy he has ever owned, so don't try and toss or donate an old toy because he will figure it out). I told him he didn't recognize it because it wasn't his toy, it was a toy from daycare. He looked at me confused. Daycare? What's that??
I explained to him that as an infant, when we still lived in Seattle, he had gone to daycare and Mommy and Daddy had both gone to offices to work (and by work I mean get paid for work, because what I do every day now as a full time mama, is work, just non-paid work...unless you count kisses, in which case, I'm rich. I digress...). That from the ages of 4 months to 11 months, he had gone every morning to the warm, cheery house of one Ms. Sharon Stone (no, not that Sharon Stone), owner of Teddy Bear Lane Daycare. We then proceeded to have a lengthy discussion about daycare, Ms. Sharon, and the other children who were there as well - Sam and Lena. The whole discussion really took me back to those early days. I didn't like dropping my baby off at daycare every day. Yes, he was very well cared for, nurtured, loved, by Ms. Sharon. She was like a surrogate aunt to Jackson. And yes, I had a good job, which paid well, and even afforded me flexibility to stop by during the occasional lunch break and nurse my little boy if I got to missing him too much. But it wasn't enough. I wanted desperately to be with my baby boy all the time. I was his mama. I should be there for him. I was miserable.
Over the next several months, Shawn and I really began to question a lot about our lifestyle in the city. Seattle was (is) a very expensive city. We had a mortgage on a tiny cottage of a house. Daycare, especially a really good one, was spendy as well. We had no family nearby to help us out in an emergency, or even just for the sake of having family close by. Visits from the grandparents were confined to once a year. Not to mention aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. We were really feeling that emptiness.
So all this combined was the catalyst for our move to Colorado. Just before Jackson turned a year, we both resigned from our jobs, left Ms. Sharon and all the wonderful toys, sold our house on the first day it was on the market (oh, those were the days!), and hired a moving company. We were off. Colorado bound. The suburbs were in our future. Colorado gave us close proximity to Shawn's family, and good career opportunities for him as well. And it was close enough to my family in Texas that a plane reservation was not required for a visit. In retrospect, it was a hasty, crazy, unplanned move. We were wing'n it. Shawn didn't even have a job lined up once we arrived, though he remedied that very soon after we arrived and got settled. I did, however, full time mama. And I relished it. Loved it. And, I admit it, found it extremely challenging. I still do. That little baby, in his wee little Tigger costume (so appropriate because that kid came out of the womb jumping), had the power to essentially move mountains for us. And he did.