I Know

Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  Click here to join in the fun!

Slice of Life is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. Click here to join in the fun!

A friend at work recently became a first-time mom.  She came into my office last week to talk, and she started to cry.  “I don’t know how you guys do it,” she began.  And, I knew.  Before the words even left her mouth, I knew exactly what she was going to say.  I knew because I had noticed it in her eyes long before she walked into my office that day.

Her eyes glisten with longing. I see it in her face when I pass her in the halls.  She is thinking of her baby boy every minute of every day. Although her body is at work, her mind is at home.  She had to leave him in the care of others, this boy who has stolen her heart, and it makes her ache.  She misses her baby.

Her eyes twinkle with guilt.  Her baby boy has a cold, and her motherly instincts are calling her home to soothe and comfort and rock him.  Instead, she sits in her classroom dutifully writing lesson plans and grading papers and preparing reports.  Her arms ache to hold what she cannot.  She misses her baby.

What could I say?  I looked into her eyes, so filled with sadness and guilt, and I simply said, “I know.”  I remember my first day back at work after I became a mom.  I remember sitting in my friend’s office, crying my own tears.  I remember not being able to even say Maddie’s name without my eyes welling up with tears.  “I know,” I told her.

I know.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “I Know

  1. You empathy, I’m sure will be forever remembered and appreciated. Just hearing those words “I know” from someone who has been there makes all the difference in the world…..:-)

  2. Oh, how I remember those first days back at work. I was lucky enough to stay home for an entire school year with my first, but it was still hard, sending her off to day care each day. Now she’s almost 13!

  3. Dads know, too,
    the sense of separation
    the small face at the window
    the slow wave of fingers not quite a wave
    the scene unfolding over the hours of the day
    as the moms talk about it;
    The dads fall silent,
    inside the story they think only
    they can read.

    -Kevin

  4. I still feel as though I’m leaving my right arm behind when I leave to go to work. It’s awful. A good friend reminded me that we are role models for our daughters and sons when we go off to jobs that we love, to do work that is important–and that makes me feel a little bit better.

  5. I know 😦 This is heartbreaking. Both that feeling and how you captured it so poignantly in your writing. When you say, “I knew. Before the words even left her mouth, I knew exactly what she was going to say. I knew because I had noticed it in her eyes long before she walked into my office that day” you hit the sensitive spot in all our working mommy hearts. We all feel it and we all see it in each other.

  6. I see this slice as somewhat of a coming full circle. I know you still have the same feelings as that colleague you consoled….but I am hoping that on most days they are lighter than they once were. You can now be that person “who knows” for the next person. We take when we need. We give when we can. xoxo

  7. Your writing really touched my heart. I have never been a parent as I never married and I am unable to father a child.
    But I understand the pain of being away from my mother. I can not imagine being away from a baby if I had one.
    Your words, “I know,” spoke volumes. You were so kind to show empathy and give comfort.
    Mrs. Hodges told me to read your stories.
    All the best,
    xo
    Pooh
    Pamela said to say hello.

  8. Oh Dana, I didn’t get to post or read until very late in the day yesterday. I’m kicking myself! “I remember not being able to even say Maddie’s name without my eyes welling up with tears.” “Her arms ache to hold what she cannot.” I can’t…you have done more for me and countless others than you know. You have such a big heart, so selfless. I have a note years ago you wrote after a lab I hosted, an entry in your notebook you sent me from opening day, words of encouragement you’ve given our class, words you’ve given to me. How did I get so lucky to share my day with you? Thank you Dana, Thank you 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s