Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Poker Game Called Life

I felt it trying to creep into the crevices of my day yesterday. It was pushing through the cracks but I wouldn't let it in.

Life happens. We think we have control over things. But we don't. We just have to work with the cards we are dealt. There are times that you throw your cards back into the kitty thinking you will draw something better in their place. Sometimes you do. Sometimes you don't.

Yesterday afternoon I received the news that I was expecting to hear (but hoping against hope that I was wrong). My little four-year-old daycare 'daughter' will not be returning. The cost-factor is placing too high of a burden on her family. I understand. I truly do ...

This news was buffered by the fact that another family contacted me on Sunday (before I knew what my 'new reality' was going to be) and they needed part-time &/or drop-in daycare from now until September and then possibly full-time daycare. The ages of the boys were a perfect fit and I thought this could be a good solution for the winter blues that are settling in. Some new blood, different ages and new personalities. I was pumped.

I was wrong.

I really, really like the mom. I would love to be able to help. But if the short time they were here were any indication of the attention that these guys would need (Mom says, "I just let them do whatever they want to do and I don't have a problem ... but he is having problems at school, fitting within the structure of the day"), I wouldn't have any time or attention left over for the rest of the children in my care.

The events of the day led up to a conversation with my 15 year old son before I closed my eyes last night. That chat led to a bit of a hangover of the reality kind this morning.

My Youngest was six months old when I first opened my daycare so he has no memory of the first few years before we found our groove and 'family ties' started to form within his friends that attended my daycare. He was comparing two completely different worlds but his words opened the door to insecurities that I thought I had left far behind.

I am scrutinizing who I am, how I am doing my job, whether this is what I should be doing and it has unleashed a whole new batch of self-doubt into my being.

I know that this change of events is going to end up to be a good thing. Trials and tribulations are a test of faith and stamina. This moment is serving a greater purpose and when I am through it, I will be grateful for having endured it.

Things have a way of working out in the end. They truly do. The path isn't the path I expected (I was quietly disillusioned to believe that the family that I was going to meet was the answer to my problem before I knew it was a problem) and I am going to have to work for this a little bit harder than I originally thought. But in the end, I will see the bigger picture and realize that this is the road I was meant to travel.

Am I feeling a large amount of regret for letting one of my daycare families go last month? You bet I am. But I know that we were walking down a very slippery slope together and things were progressing in a bad way. I know what I did was right for all concerned. Yet when I compared the family that I met yesterday to the little boy I used to take care of ... I realized how easy I had it (and it wasn't easy).

Life isn't easy. Not all of the time. It is not all sunshine and roses. But it isn't all winter and darkness either. Life has many seasons and I believe winter has encroached upon my daycare business. After every winter, there comes a spring. Without fail. It may be rainy, gloomy with an unexpected blizzard tossed in before the sun shines through. But spring follows winter. Every year.

I must batten down the hatches and conserve a little heat but I'll throw a little wood on the fire and see what I can do to warm things up before the sun shines down upon us in its glory.

Spring is coming. I don't know when. I don't know how. But I can feel it in the air. Somewhere ...

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