Looks Like We Made It—by Jamie Levine
There was no “break” in winter break for me this year. But it’s over now, and looking back on it, I have to admit it was worth every bit of exhaustion I withstood—because Jayda had one helluva good time. Together, we spent a day at the Long Island Children’s Museum with one of our favorite families, had several play dates with old friends and new, spent hours outside at the playground—as well as plenty of time at the frozen yogurt shop, went to a “Bake-Your-Own-Cookies” birthday party, got haircuts at the salon and went out to lunch, and even saw “Pinkalicious: The Musical.” And while every night was a battle to get Jayda to bed so I could write treatment plans for my clients, do freelance work, research material for a term project, and study for a midterm, every morning, I was greeted by Jayda bursting with enthusiasm, and asking, “Mommy, what are we doing today?” followed by a resounding “You’re the best mommy in the world!”
Fortunately, all of Jayda’s good friends have mothers who are my good friends, so at least I inadvertently enjoyed some socializing, too, this week. And thankfully, Jayda was great company—she’s almost always on her best behavior when we’re out and about or seeing friends, so she was pretty darn happy most of this week. And I was happy to be with her—and tried desperately to save my stressing out about school work until after she was asleep. But it was a tough week for me, too: The only time I had to myself was a little gym-time every morning (where Jayda went to the gym daycare) and when I was in front of my computer working at night…or passed out for six hours or less in bed.
Yesterday morning, when I left for school, Jayda clung to me for a bit—and told me she didn’t want me to leave. The feeling was mutual: I was heading to a Speech Disorders midterm for which I felt ill-prepared to take. But Jayda and I finally said our mushy goodbyes to each other, and I felt secure that Jayda was going to have a great day with her babysitter. When I got to school, my fellow graduate students were out of control, ranting about how much they’d studied and stressed about the midterm—and how many of their days had been consumed by test preparation. And instead of feeling insecure about how I was going to do, because I’d spent much less time studying than they had, I felt relieved. Because my age has brought me wisdom and I know what’s important: I know that one test isn’t going to change my life—but the quality of time I spend with my little girl just might change hers. And when all is said and done, I did well enough on that test—and know I’ll do even better when I’m working with clients who have those speech disorders. And most importantly, my little girl wakes up every morning with a smile on her face…and this week, we made a lot of great memories together.