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Mother's Day2024 Essay2

Title: Tricycle, Pansies, Pebbles, and Airplanes

Author: Katatsumuri

I think I must look determined, much like a racewalker.

It's me pushing the tricycle with my son on it. The one my friend gave me comes with a harness and can be used for a baby from 10 months old.

Every morning, I take my son to the daycare on this tricycle, and then return home after dropping him off. I want to finish as many chores as possible before heading to work. That feeling makes me walk briskly toward the daycare.

Once home, I vacuum the bedroom, pick up crayons scattered in the living room, and shove picture books into the bookshelf. After washing the breakfast dishes, I check the clock and open my laptop.

Besides being a working mother, I'm also a student at a correspondence university. When my son comes charging at me while I'm typing, the computer becomes unusable.

Before I know it, it's time to leave for work.

I drop off my son at the daycare and head to work. The destination is another daycare where I work for.

The situation of being a new mother and leaving my son with strangers to spend time with other people's children felt somewhat strange at first, but I quickly got used to it.

The words and actions of the children at the daycare are fresh, adorable, and interesting. Eager to learn more about the world as seen through a child's eyes, I decided to take the exam to obtain a childcare worker qualification not long after starting work here.

However, while I found childcare work appealing, I also gradually began to feel uneasy about how things were done at my workplace.

During lunchtime, when I saw a teacher putting a spoon into the mouth of a crying child for the first time, I concluded there must be a reason I, not being a childcare professional, couldn't understand.

On another day, when a child who had been treated the same way ended up vomiting, my stomach tightened too, but I wasn't the class teacher or assistant teacher; I was an unqualified childcare assistant.

However, when I saw a child eating lunch alone in a dark room while crying as naptime began, I could no longer stay silent.

I consulted the daycare director about the way how they treat the children. Subsequently, a meeting was held with the executives. A colleague, like me without a childcare qualification, persistently talked about how ignorant I was about childcare, and then said,

"If you don't stop disrupting the harmony of the workplace, you won't be able to interact with children anymore."

The one-sided "discussion" lasted for four and a half hours. 

I might have been down about this incident a little while ago. However, I only shed tears that night and bounced back soon after.

The next day, I reported my workplace's childcare services to an external reporting office. Within the following month, I submitted the paperwork to become a self-employed freelancer and opened social media accounts for the new venture.

The importance of working authentically was a lesson I gained from being part of this organization.

What was on my mind were the children from the daycare. When I read English picture books to them, they listened with sparkling eyes. When we danced to English songs, they moved their little bodies with radiant smiles.

Though I don't have a childcare qualification, I hold a Level 1 English proficiency certification.

Now that my main job is preparing lessons for children at home, I push his tricycle at a turtle's pace.

Sometimes, we hold hands and take 40 minutes to walk just 1 km.

My son and I discuss the colors of pansies blooming on the roadside, pick up random pebbles, and gently touch the mud at the bottom if there's a puddle. When we hear a loud noise, we stop to look up at the sky, searching for airplanes.

The journey to daycare is our special time together.

It may take a little longer for my work to get on track. But if I can walk without rushing my son, that's enough.

I still sometimes remember the child who had to face lunch at daycare while crying. I have no choice but to believe the words of the woman at the reporting office who listened to me on the phone, but I want to hug that child tightly if I could see the child again.

With such thoughts, I hold my son tightly in my arms.

When I tickle him, he wriggles and laughs. I wonder how long days like these will last.

My son will be turning two soon.

Call for Donations
Thank you for reading this essay to the end. This essay was written by Single Mother Katatsumuri for Mother's Day2024. The non-profit organization Single Mothers Sisterhood supports the self-care of single mothers' minds and bodies. Your generous donations will be carefully used to fund the operation of 'Self-Care Workshops for Single Mothers' and 'Expressive Recovery Programs'. The well-being of single mothers is essential, not only for themselves but also for their children. Your support would mean a lot to us. Donations are accepted here.






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