He fed them their breakfast as he drove and he delivered them to my workplace, which is to say their school place, and he lowered their windows so they could scream to me upon approach: Mama! Mommy! Mommmmeeeeeeee!!
And upon agreement and ritual upon hearing their voices call from the car to my work phone I left my desk and walked outside and fulfilled the privilege of being the parent who unbuckled their straps, who carried their lunches, who held their rainbow-nail-polished hands as we walked up the walkway together.
There are women, I understand, who have not found peace with their locations on the mommy-occupation spectrum. Unsatisfied to stay home, guilty for working, paralyzingly insecure that any choice might be the right choice for both them and their kiddies -- I have, gratefully, none of these problems. And it must be said that holding place of pride on my Thankful List is my work/daycare circumstance -- I do not miss my beloved girl-monsters nor worry about them, for they are in good hands just steps away from me; they are playing and learning and shrieking and imagining and inventing and crafting and tushie-hygiene-maintaining and feeding and sleeping under the watchful care of women who love them and who I see in my own cafeteria as they buy their own lunches; women I trust but in part because they know I can/could check up on them, hear their off-duty conversations, look out a hallway window and observe their playground supervision attentiveness, hold their elevator doors on rainy days when they walk the kids around inside the building instead of out, inside my building.
So the lovely husband drove and fed the girls and left them to me, where I broke from work to shepherd them indoors, remove their jackets, unpack their lunches, hear their exciting tales of Waking Up and Getting Dressed and Telling Daddy Things. I gave them their morning reassurance, which comes in the form of hugs and sillies and for E, a ritual morning dose of Laugher, No Laughing, and in L's case, a few requisite tosses into the air. They each pushed me out the door. And I walked for two minutes, and was back at my desk.
Back at my desk I found mid-belly on my turquoise blue shirt a bright red kiss mark. They'd eaten raspberries in the car as part of breakfast. In regard to the Mommy Works/Kids Go to Daycare conundrum? These are how I take my licks. I've been raspberry-kissed and stained for the day. This is an entirely acceptable compromise.