When I started work two weeks ago, it was really hard to leave Jacob in the mornings. It was hard knowing we both had full days ahead of us and those days didn't include the other person. Jacob was going to have a day full of play and fun with his grandma and I would have a day full of reading case files, hunching over a desk and multiple tall skinny vanilla lattes.
Two weeks in and I think now that what we have going is as perfect as it can get. Sure, I only see him a couple hours each day and the weekends, but our time together is 100 times better than it was before. Before I started work, it was easy to forget how precious my time with him was. I'd have a whole EXHAUSTING day with him and, yet, my most frequent thought was "how can I get him to nap so I can do X or Y." When you have a child, your "to-do" list and your personal time goes out the window entirely.
So, I'd spend the whole day with Jacob but I was more focused on the big picture of taking care of him and making sure he got what he needed rather than living in the moment. Moments with Jacob were constant and sometimes they even seemed never-ending. It was hard to not take my moments with him for granted. Now that I work all day, I am constantly reminded how special my time with him is. The result is that when we're together, he has my constant attention. I am able to put the other parts of my life on hold and take a time out just for Jacob. Our time together is so much more meaningful and memorable.
Spending less time each day with Jacob also makes me realize just how quickly he is growing. I really want to remember how sweet he is right now, because down the road he'll be a teenager and our time together, while it will still be special, it just won't be the same. Right now we have such a special bond. He looks to me as if I can solve every problem in the world. I am his "go-to" problem solver. When he gets hurt, he wants "ma ma" and no one else will do. When something makes him laugh, he wants to share it with me. When he is sad, I can make everything right again. He has so much faith and confidence in me, even during the time when I think I've "failed" him. Right now, it doesn't take much to make him happy and I can make sure his world is full of happiness and love and peace. But I know there will be darker times, times where his needs and his world will be much more complicated, times when he won't look to me for answers. Times when I won't even HAVE answers. Times when he will push me away and doubt the things I say.
But now, oh my God. NOW, things are incredible. And my Jacob is the light of my life. And we have a bond that is unlike anything I've ever experienced.
The last two weekends have been just amazing and so full of life. Today for example, I took him running in the baby jogger. We jogged on a new scenic trail (new for me anyway) and then towards the end when we were nearing the parking lot, I unstrapped him from the jogger and let him play. We threw rocks in the creek. We stomped on leaves. I chased him up and down the trails, catching him and throwing him in the air. When he pretended to take a nap in the grass, I pretended I was a bunny and kept hopping over him. Jacob erupted into a fit of giggles then he wanted a turn to hop over me. I laid down in the grass too and braced myself as he landed right on top of me. Then I gave him the world's bounciest piggy back ride.
Afterward, I stopped by a craft store and picked up some supplies. As I pushed him around in the cart, he kept making funny faces as me. So I made them back and the two of us giggled up and down the aisles for half an hour. Jacob decided to pick out some of his own supplies and snuck them in the cart when I wasn't looking. Our craft turned out great too. Jacob loves to color so I bought some wooden eggs and we painted them- I found these great paint pens and he did an awesome job coloring his eggs. They are going to be gifts for his grandparents. He LOVED it and I loved showing him how to do it.
Finally, he helped me make dinner. I let him stir and pour the contents of the measuring cups into the bowls and sauce pans. By the time dinner was done, so was Jacob. He grabbed his special blankie, tugged on my pants and said, "Night night. Ba ba (bottle). Book!"
Yesterday was just as full of fun Jacob memories. And last week was pretty much the same. I'm so thankful for this new outlook on being a working mom. I'm so thankful it is working out so far. Not only do I get to go to work and feel like a contributing and productive member of the law firm, but when I do come home I really appreciate it and really focus on being with the people I love.