Saturday, January 10, 2009

To Law School From One Able Bodied, Emotional Wreck Of A Person

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!"


FSD said...

Good luck, Cee!! I was just wondering the other day when you go back. This will certainly be a transition for both you and Jacob, but like anything else, you will both adjust. Give it some time and just know that the first few days (or possibly weeks) may be really tough. But it will gradually get better. Hang in there.

LL said...

All so true. I remember running errands without Landon a little while after he was born and feeling like I should have a sign that identified me as a mom- I felt changed and thought everyone, even strangers, should be aware of that.

As far as the milestones, I know it's hard to believe, but don't worry too much about missing them because it's almost certain that you won't. Babies somehow change really fast and really slow all at the same time- the path to Landon crawling was many many days of encouragement, motivation (we used to put the cat out in front of him, he really wanted to touch her!), and cheering- I can't imagine those first few crawls happening in daycare or under someone else's care. The first tooth is also a painfully slow process- or one you'll be one of those lucky parents who just happens to notice a new tooth one day as he's eating. Either way, you aren't likely to miss the big moment.

Good luck with the transition! It'll be much easier for him than you, but you'll be okay too.

LEO said...

I'm right there with you! I totally sympathize with everything you just said. I start back tomorrow, and trying to read casebooks while nursing isn't as easy as I thought it would be.

I'm sure Jacob will handle the transition just fine... and you will too! You like school and it will be a good distraction from missing him. There will be some days that are tougher than others I'm sure, but that's why school is better than work... when it's too much to handle, just skip class!
Good Luck!

Trannyhead said...

I wish I could tell you it's not going to be that bad. But really, it's going to suck. The first time I dropped my kid off with childcare was awful. And you probably will miss some milestones. I missed the day my son started walking and felt awful about it. BUT.

You'll still have PLENTY of time with him. HE won't care if you were there for his first crawl or not. HE won't care at all. He'll still be happy to see you at the end of the day.

Just hang in there and give it some time. It does get easier. Even if you do have to pump in your law school's parking garage ...

PT-LawMom said...

(((HUGS))) I hope it goes well for you both. I was fine going back to work but, honestly, every woman is different. My son wasn't freaking out and I have friends whose kids did. Ultimately, though, I think it's good to have that time apart for your sanity, for the joy of the reunion, etc. Hope your first week is wonderful.

Googie Baba said...

Cee, I totally understand how you feel. It was so hard when I first went back to work. The job seemed so meaningless other than the fact that we totally needed the paycheck. Yeah, other than that stubborn fact, it was all pretty pointless. It was really hard. You do get use to it. And I made sure that the time I had with him was well spent. I know you both will do just fine.