Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The End of a Brief, Beautiful Era

Dear Canon,

As I ease into my fourth week back at work, I am grateful for how smooth this transition is going. We have found a sitter who fits our family and values perfectly, and you are thriving in her care three afternoons a week. She and her children love having you and your sister in their home and they take great care of you. Your afternoon spent with Grandma each week brings her joy and keeping up with you and Delilah keeps her on her toes. This being my first full work week, Daddy is looking forward to starting his Friday afternoons, parenting solo.

Photo by Nicole Aarstad
Knowing that you are lovingly cared for while I work has helped tremendously in my own transition back into my working world. The first week (okay, two) was a weepy one. Our babymoon went by way too fast, and in some ways, I felt a bit cheated out of the maternity leave I'd hoped for. Your surgical delivery meant a more precarious recovery period. Learning to juggle your needs with your sister's needs has been challenging for me, and I couldn't help a but experience a case of good old fashioned mom guilt for feeling like I just couldn't do it perfectly right out of the gate. The weather was crappy and the winter lasted forever this year, so I felt very cooped up and a bit stir-crazy, trapped in the house and overwhelmed by venturing out by myself with both of you. (I'm happy to say that I think I've finally hit my stride as a mother of two, just in time to throw working back into the mix!)

Despite those perceived imperfections in our 3 months at home together, the most important aspect couldn't have been more perfect, and that is the bond that has grown between us. Getting to know you over those 12 precious and fleeting weeks was beautiful. I will always treasure the time you spent in my arms, at my breast, and in our bed. I credit breast feeding, co-sleeping, and babywearing with helping to strengthen the foundation of our bond as mother and son, and I credit the continuation of those practices with helping to ease the bittersweet end of our maternity leave.

I delight in your smile each morning when you wake. I delight in your breath (and even your drool!) on my chest when you are wrapped snugly against me. I delight in your sturdy trunk, your chubby cheeks and chunky thighs, all courtesy of my milk. I delight in the even rise and fall of your chest as you sleep soundly, your mother curled around you, your milk readily available, should you wake in hunger.

Photo by Nicole Aarstad
I'm grateful that my current work schedule allows me to find a good balance between work and home. My mornings are spent leisurely with you and your sister, the afternoons find me involved in work that is fulfilling and important to me. The mornings are especially enjoyable now that Spring has shown herself, at last, and my passion for my work is renewed after a refreshing break from it.

You are an absolutely delightful baby, and as babies go, I assume that you are what is typically referred to as an "easy" baby. I assume this means that with you, I will finally grasp the term "terrible twos" and goodness knows what three will bring. In the mean time, I'm focused on enjoying your infancy, and willing you to stay a baby forever. You are the perfect piece to complete the puzzle of our little family. As time goes by, I will forget the parts of my maternity leave that didn't go as smoothly or as perfectly as they could have, but I will never forget the time I spent getting acquainted with my precious baby, my beautiful son.




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