Don’t get me wrong, there were in fact tears, but they didn’t last long. When Gracie came into the lobby packed with strangers like a can of sardines, she was concerned but quiet. Until she saw me. Then she wanted to know why on earth she was still holding onto the baby rope instead of me.
The parties are deafening. Voices boom throughout the 3 story, glass walled lobby. The holiday music played on a piano in the lobby adds to the chaos. The guards’ desk in the middle makes for a formable obstacle for circulation. It is never a comfortable place to be. Now add 40 kids, ages 5 to 5 months to the mix. It sometimes makes me want to cry too. I think that is why they offer mimosas.
Luckily, Matt took a few hours to come down to the party too. He often feels deprived of these parent moments, and he remembered there was booze.
Because he was there though, he was able to hold Grace while I took pictures. He was able to sweet talk Grace into sitting on his lap near Santa. He was able to work that into Grace sitting on his leg next to Santa in order to get one of the toys he was handing out to the kiddies. Then, under that jubilation, he was able to coax her into posing for a few pictures near a tree.
And then, cookie and cat toy in hand, Grace happily retreated back to the safety of the daycare with her friends, forgetting to shed any tears. Matt retreated to the safety of his car and returned to work, shedding a pound or two in ‘holding a heavy child in a hot room’ sweat. I retuned to my desk for 5 minutes of quiet, until my next party started and the chaos began all over again. Even without the children.