I suppose that’s an incorrect title, as the story of my “becoming-a-mom” is certainly longer than just one chapter. However, life feels so completely different now that Ben is here that the story of “my life” is really like an entirely new book. It’s hard to remember what life was like before him, even though life-before-Ben was just a mere three and a half months ago.
Regardless…Chapter One is coming to an end. On Monday, November 5th, I go back to work. And I am emotional. But probably not for (all) the reasons one would suppose.
Okay, yes… I’ll miss Ben. (OBVIOUSLY!) I mean, he is quite literally my entire world all wrapped up in 15 lbs of smiles, songs, and farts. (Ha! It’s so true, though.) But there’s so many more emotions as well. Emotions of, “I’ve never been away from him for more than 4 hours. Will he be okay?” “Will he forget about me?” I mean.. kid goes to sleep at like 7:00pm each night. If I’m working the entire time he is awake… and he’s looking at either my mom or the fantastic Miss Julia while I’m working… will he forget that I am his mom and love on them more than me? (I’m not saying my emotions are rational… obviously I still know that MY MOM is MY MOM and not my old babysitter, Nancy… but I digress!).
I’m worried about George. (Ha! When am I not? Crazy boy.) I’m not sure there has been more than 2 days in almost 5 months when he has been in his kennel an entire “work day.” I know he’ll be fine, BUT HE’S MY BABY TOO, DANG IT!
And then worst of all… the emotions of excitement to go back to work.
Side track: Soon Joe, Benny, Georgie, and I will be moving out of our house to build a new home (I’ll get into those emotions in another blog.). So what does this have to do with anything? Well, it’s meant a lot of organizing and “cleaning out” during the later half of “Chapter 1.” And you know what? As I’ve been going through things I cannot help but think, “Oh my gosh! I should bring this purse to school! The kids will LOVE it! or “Look at all these crayons/art supplies! I bet Miss Melissa and I can make a cool craft or two out of these!” I am looking forward to going back into the classroom and resuming what truly is my dream job.
But then I look at Ben, and think… “How can I think that?!” Am I a terrible mom because a large part of me wants to go back to work? And what’s worse… I’m going back two weeks earlier than I need to. I had off until the 19th, but decided to go back early. I’m not sure exactly why, but I know there are a lot of little reasons. Money (ha… is that a little reason?), the convenience of going back during teacher’s conferences (as parent involvement is such a large part of my program)… I think the biggest reason, however is that I’m in charge. I’M in charge of when I go back, and it’s not some federal or employer’s rule telling me “Now you have to go back.” Cue the emotions over purposefully “leaving my baby boy earlier than I need to.”
Of all kinds.
I’m thankful for all of them, because it means I’m a mom. My new “book” has started. And while, “Chapter One,” is nearly complete, I cannot wait to see what the next several chapters will entail. A new house, a new feel in the upcoming holiday seasons, new feelings when we go to Disney World this spring, hopefully a brother or sister someday. So much to look forward to as a new family of three (four, with George, of course).
But in the meantime, here are my favorite highlights from “Chapter 1.”
- Seeing you smile. Loved you from day one, little boy. But the love grew 100x when you smiled back.
- Your Baptism Day. Surrounded by family, friends, beautiful music, and the Holy Spirit.
- Watching you roll over, and getting your first “roll” on video! (This will make other milestones I miss while I’m at work seems so much less “sad.”)
- Singing with you each morning. Yes, WITH. I know it sounds crazy, but I know when you are “talking” and when you are “singing.” And I love that you are singing with me already.
- The smile you get when you see “your letters.” I’ve never in my life seen or heard of a baby who does this, but you just LOVE to look and smile at these letters on the wall – from any angle in the room. And when your dad or I say, “Are those your letters?!” you give us the BIGGEST smile.
- Fall Fun. Whether it be at the pumpkin farm, cutting down trees at the lot, or “helping” to pass out candy for Halloween. You’ve made this Fall season the best one yet.
- Loving Georgie. You really noticed him for the first time last week. I think you know that he is “your puppy,” now. While I’m not sure how you feel about that just yet, it sure has been fun for me to watch the two of you learn about each other throughout “Chapter One.”
- Most of all, cuddles on the couch. It brings me to tears to write this because I live for it each day. I cannot decide what is better. When you are awake and cuddling (and can now grab on tight with your arms, or can purposefully rub your head into my shoulder), or when you are sound asleep in my arms. There is no better feeling in the world (aside from MAYBE seeing you sleeping in Daddy’s arms).
So off I go. Bring it Monday. I’ll be emotional. But these emotions would never exist if I wasn’t a mom. And for that, I am thankful.