It feels weird to begin semester preparation this time around. Instead of worrying solely about buying books and ferry passes and getting a head start on my assignments, I'm overly preoccupied with how Jacob will do and whether or not he is prepared for Grandma Daycare. I'm worrying about whether he will be consistent about taking bottles, if we will confuse him by giving him a mix of breastmilk and formula, if he has enough diapers packed, and about how well his gradmas will handle him when it gets to be 5 o'clock fussy time.
But more than that, I'm worried about me. How will I do without him? What will I do if I miss him too much? He will be a full 1.5 to 2 hours away from me while I am at school - that seems way too far. What if I miss his first attempts to crawl? What if I miss his first tooth popping through. How will the dynamic of our relationship change when I'm not with him 24/7.
I wonder how it will be returning to school. Returning to the same faces and people who knew a diferent me, a pre-Jacob me. Last spring semester, I wasn't even showing! The only people who know I had a baby are those that keep up with me through Facebook (sadly, I'm not that close to my law school peers).
In one way becoming a parent has changed me a lot. And in another way, I haven't changed in the slightest. I'm still this goofy, quixotic person who is hungry to learn and seeking out adventures that will one day make great stories. But at the same time, I've been handed a very important role- the care of another (incredibly cute) human being. He is a significant part of who I am and I would rather fail at law school and a legal career than fail him.
I've involuntarily tapped into jet stream of empathy by becoming a Mom. I shrivel up and bawl when fictional children in movies suffer (Slumdog Millionaire was an INCREDIBLE movie but there were times I could barely see the screen through my tears). I'm 100 times more sensitive as a mom and it takes just the smallest thing to trigger a well spring of emotion. I'm just thanking God that I already took Criminal Law- I would be a wreak in that class now.
Yet, while I am an emotional wreck, I otherwise feel way more stable. I feel more experienced and mature. I feel that I have finally been initiated into adulthood. I feel as if I can huddle over a casebook and study the law with more depth (maybe I can't but I FEEL as if I can). I know what it's like to pay a mortgage (kind of- my husband actually does that). I know what it's like to worry about my health care coverage (Jacob was one expensive addition). I know what it is like to put myself last and focus entirely on caring for someone who is more vulnerable than I am w(isn't that the point of laws- to protect the vulnerable- or is it just the liberal in me?).
So next Tuesday I finally get to find out what it means to be a mother in law school. While I will dread the time I have to be away from Jacob, I still say "bring it on!"