Jocelyn turns two in a couple days (and of course, a powerful, rockin’ montage set to a power ballad by White Snake is due). This isn’t in itself great news. I mean, it would be if anybody at any particular time ever looked forward to their child becoming a two-year old monster. I imagine Joseph fretting about the decision he made a couple years back to stick with Mary and her “miraculous birth”: “Why is this child throwing temper-tantrums in Egypt of all places?!”
We are excited, though, because it marks another era in our tot’s life: day care. For the last two years, Jennie and I have traded duties watching the child. For a few months, my wife even went to work with the baby several days a week – wherein there was no nap time and there was plenty of screaming (mostly from Jocelyn, I’m assured). In a highrise office building. In downtown Chicago. The Loop.
For the last year, I stayed home with the child nearly full-time as I weighed my job options. Which, to be frank, were very limited to begin with – and moreso limited as the recession took hold of the pay-for-words world. But also during that time, I’ve begun to heal. I’ve faced some demons, and still have many others in my closet that I’ve yet to eradicate – but the process has begun. Life has slowed down to a crawl so that I may listen to someone who does not yet know how to speak her needs or wants. My hopes are that I continue to listen, I continue to grow and learn in this area for my family’s sake and that I can take that with me wherever I go – that I may be a listener.
And I believe that those first two years were crucial for the child as well. She got to make permanent bonds with her parents that – Lord willing – will never, ever, ever break. But she is also ready to move on. Her first and primary inclination is to be inquisitive. We may as well have named her Georgetta. Secondly, she’s sociable. Especially with people her size. She cried twice yesterday when we left two groups of neighborhood kids.
In short, three roads are converging right now, and they meet at Kedzie and Diversey at Diversey Day Care. Financially, we’re about as ready as ever. Psychologically, I’m ready for the change. Socially, Joss is more than ready. Relationally, our family is ready.