You know how all teachers make their first writing assignment something like, “My Summer Vacation”? I never thought too much of these assignments when I was younger and usually don’t like assigning it to my students now either. It’s just that I can’t remember a summer that I had this much fun!
I was dreading this break from work. It’s funny how we long for the things that we know and that are familiar to us. When Andrew was born, I was anxious to go back to work. Being a mother is so hard, and at the time it was so new and difficult that I longed for familiarity. Working would provide comfort and a guaranteed 45 minutes of quiet time a day! By and large, by the time I returned last January, I was happy to return and while I missed Andrew, I still felt that working was easier than being a mom.
So when June rolled around and school got out I braced myself for the tough job ahead. I felt tremendous guilt for not wanting to be a stay at home mom. What was wrong with me? How could I not love my son enough to want to spend every day with him?
The first week was rough. Andrew was irritated that I had taken him from his great grandparents and I was just trying to get myself put together and start a routine. Andrew didn’t nap well and was out of sorts. I kept thinking what a long summer I had ahead of me.
Then something happened. Something unexplainable and wonderful happened. I fell in love with my baby boy all over again. But this time something was different. If before we were held together with scotch tape, now we were welded together– unbreakable.
I tried to understand what made the difference but I think that just might take the magic out of it. I never understood how anyone could love being a stay at home mom and now I do. I am, for the very first time, not looking forward to going back to work. Sure, I’m excited but if I had my way I’d take another few months here with my baby because I’m certain that while I’m gone that first day he’s going to grow up even more and by the end of that first week he’ll be preparing for college.
If I sound all gooshy and mushy I hope you’ll forgive me. And if you’re thinking I’m a nut for not feeling this sooner then I’ll agree but whatever happened it was better late than never and all I can say for it is that I am head over heels in love with my baby.
Next Monday he will turn 1.
Every morning I think of the date and I remember what I was doing this time last year and for whatever I forgot after he was born, I do remember these days leading up to his birth very well. I remember the anticipation and the excitement and fear and nervousness. Most of all I remember the awful pain I was in by that point and the fact that my ankles were so swollen I had to cut the elastic off of A’s socks so I could put something over my feet. I remember the job title I was about to acquire and I remember wondering if I’d be any good at it and if I would love my child the way he deserves to be loved and if I could tell the me of then what the me of now is thinking a year later, I think I would have had a much easier time of those last few days. No it’s not been an easy year but it has been perhaps the greatest year of my entire life. I know this summer has been as much.
So on these last few days of summer, on the last few days before my baby isn’t such a baby anymore, I will be very busy– preparing for work, watching my baby grow, loving being a mom, and enjoying every second of it.