After school sometimes, when Matt has picked up Julie, he'll bring her to my classroom if I've been slow getting out of there as I finish up work. The joy on my little girl's face as she runs into my room and rushes to give me a big hug is unparalleled. This is the best part of motherhood so far.
Today, I had a coworker come check in with me right as I finished class. I had two small tasks to finish, but he needed help, so I stayed to work with him too. Around 4.40, my two loves came into the room. Julie bounced over and jumped into my arms (well, jumped as reasonably well as a non-quite-2 year old can jump). I received a giant hug and a face full of smiles.
Then, after, she happily helped Matt feed my classroom fish. She is mesmerized by them. "Pinch, pinch" she'll say as she gives them a little pinch of food at the top of the tank. I've got three fish with goldfish: a 40 gallon tank with one massive fish ("Goldie"), a 10 gallon tank with three medium-small fish, and a 10 gallon tank with 20 small fish. She makes the rounds and chatters about the different fish sizes: "small!" stated so exuberantly.
I hope she can bring this joy to all the tasks of her life. When I'm not tired and overwhelmed with the amount of work, this is the joy I love to bring to my own daily tasks. Hoping that I can plan some this summer so that my next school year is not quite so grueling (this has been a rough year with some class switches mid-fall, so I've got a new prep and a lot on my plate). But having my little one brings the most joy of all. I feel blessed beyond measure.
We ate dinner in the dining hall and then walked back home. Julie alternate between holding my hand, running ahead, and wanting to be held. We went home and snuggled in for reading books and Facetime with Nana. A wonderful counterpart to a full day of work.
Plus, a semi-related final note I can't add in any better way: I am thrilled to say that Julie has finally popped out her last molar. We've had three months of fussy nights, random bites, and lots of ibuprofen/tylenol before bedtime. Seemingly by magic, last Friday night, I forgot to give the tylenol and it didn't matter. All four of those pain machines are finally out! I am beyond thrilled. I already notice her mood is even more joyful!