Last week I went back to work. Full time, full throttle, full of bittersweet excitement and nerves. The late night feedings followed by the early morning rush. Kissing two little faces goodbye and saying hello to hundreds of others. It went fine and I survived. They survived. It was business as usual.
And, I was prepared. I was prepared to miss my baby. I was prepared to think about her and worry over how much she was eating and sleeping and tummy-timing. I think about her all day long. But, can I confess something?
I am actually missing my son– my big boy— just as much, if not more.
I am missing him like crazy.
It’s strange. I’ve worked full time since the boy was born. Spending our days apart should feel like the usual but, for whatever reason, it’s been hard. Maybe it’s because my time at home gave us a chance to play and explore in ways that are hard to do when all you have are evenings and weekends. Maybe it’s because his speech is making such big strides that he and I are starting to chat with one another (even if all he wants to talk about is the school bus). Maybe it’s because he’s getting so big so fast that I feel as if time is zooming past in a continuous blur– like if I look away, for even a moment, I might miss everything completely.
Maybe it’s just because I love him.
And he’s had a rough go of it these past few weeks. I’m not really sure what’s up. I don’t know if it’s two-year-old angst or residual new-baby stress or if there’s something physical to blame (a cold? God forbid a shunt malfunction?)– but Simeon hasn’t seemed quite like himself recently. He’s crabby and irritable. Emotional and clingy. He just seems unsettled somehow.
So I feel unsettled, too.
I thought that going back to work would be easier this time– it’s not like I haven’t done it before. But spending time away from two, rather than one, means double the goodbyes and double the missing, which isn’t easier at all. I guess we’re still in the adjustment period. And by the time we’re used to old routines it will be summertime. For now, I’ll soak up the moments we have. I’ll be thankful for dinnertime talks and bedtime routines. I’ll tiptoe into his room when the house is quiet, just to tell him one more time:
I sure do love you, Buddy. Save your Saturdays for me.