The morning commute was always something I looked forward to. I enjoy a long drive when the sun is rising, its light streaming through my windshield reminding me that it’s a new day.
Last Tuesday I wasn’t looking forward to my commute.
I went back to work after one whole year off with my baby, a hard but wonderful year, where everyday I spent time with my child, watched her develop, grow, and explore.
I knew that I would be returning and had attempted to mentally prepare myself. I love my job but I love my daughter more.
So, as expected the day arrived. I waved goodbye to her as she got into her daddy’s car, dressed up pretty for day care, and started my 40 minute drive.
The sun glistened through my window warming up the car just as I remembered. My coffee tasted perfect, the radio was loud, and the traffic flowed nicely.
I began to enjoy the drive, relax a little, even sang to a few songs but work was in sight and the reminder of where I was going came flooding back, covering me in anxiety.
What if they didn’t want me to come back? What if the girl who replaced me was better at my job?
I reluctantly parked and sat for a few minutes.
I was confident my daughter was being well taken care of, now I had to take care of me.
Sliding out of the car I straightened my black pants and purple dress shirt purchased just for the day, the fabric smoothing softly under my nervous fingers. My purse felt light on my shoulder compared to the diaper bag and I double checked to ensure I had the right bag. One final glace back at the car and I stepped onto the walkway, ready to look the day straight in the face.
And was greeted with open arms.