Feelings. I’ve got ’em. In a maudlin and mellow dramatic way.
As I’m sure you’ve gathered, this is fairly standard for moi.
It’s the darker days.
It’s the baby who has absolutely no semblance of a schedule so James and I are like the walking dead because we can’t figure out how to get the kid to sleep the hours of the average working human. C’mon 3 month old! Get with the daily grind!
What? A Mama can dream, right?
It’s the holiday season, which in and of itself wields enough nostalgia-provoking power to drown my weepies in a cup of egg nog.
Watching Addison joyously and enthusiastically hang Christmas ornaments, from my childhood, on our tree, by my father’s side? Let’s just say that I had to excuse myself to the bedroom so I could ugly cry in peace, and away from the eyes of others who might make commentary on the puffy-eyed results.
Also, big transitions are happening chez Cart. It started on Monday when Addison headed off to her first day of preschool. James and I decided earlier in my maternity leave that it would be best for both Sunny and myself if she started going to school a couple days a week before the end of my leave. She needed the space to play and be in an environment surrounded by all things toddler-friendly. And I needed a break from the chaos and crazy that is parenting a toddler. Yesterday, someone on Twitter said, “Toddlerhood is essentially human nature without the frills.” Agreed. But human nature ain’t always such an easy or pretty thing. HAVE YOU READ THE LORD OF THE FLIES?! Case in point.
So off to school she went. Tears were shed. Arguably I cried more when I got home than she did at my departure. This milestone feels momentous. Bigger than the first word. Or the first step. Or the first poop in the adult potty.
When I arrived at the end of the day to pick her up, she gave me a casual wave from across the park and then continued to play. My heart simultaneously swelled and broke. So grown up. So independent. So content to play on her own. Everything a parent wants and dreads wrapped up in a single moment.
This morning, as we packed her bag for school, she whimpered and said that she didn’t want to go. I reminded her about all the fun that she’d had on Monday, and she paused for a moment, contemplated what I had said, and looked up at me with tear-filled eyes and said, “Mommy, did Nemo go to school?”
Why of course he did!
This realization was enough to turn off the faucet. She merrily carried her lady bug lunch sack out the door and said, “I love you, Mommy. See you later!”
She’s growing up so beautifully.
To think that I played even a small role in that is an overwhelmingly humbling and emotional reality.
And, lastly, James and I have made the decision that I’ll be returning to work three weeks earlier than I had originally planned. Financially, we just can’t swing it. That’s the trade-off to being younger parents. Younger parents with jobs that have family-friendly hours and benefits. We don’t have the financial heft behind us. So back to work I go.
I know that I have the most ideal work situation and environment imaginable. The most supportive and accommodating bossman. The easiest commute on Planet Earth.
My heart just hasn’t caught up to my head yet on this one.
I’ll get there. And in the meantime there is a tub of ice cream in the freezer with my name on it.
I eat my feelings. Attractive, no?