Tomorrow I finally return to work after taking just over a year off for Maternity leave. I’ve had to push it back a few times now due to some health issues, and while tomorrow is looming and I am not looking forward to rising at 5:30am, (you golden child, you very rarely wake this early!) it’s been a good year and I’ve been reflecting on how wonderful my life has become now that you are a part of it.
Where do I start? I guess with you, Sam. I can’t ever have imagined a life so rich, so full and so hectic as the one we now have. Everything I thought about parenting has been re-thought, re-imagined and re-discovered with every passing month of my time with you. I’ve found levels of strength, determination, patience, grit and passion I actually didn’t know I had within me, and I’ve valued every learning curve, no matter how sharp it has been.
I don’t regret taking the full year to be with you, even though you did start at daycare before I ended up returning to work. Every day we spend together, no matter how tiring is one where my heart sings; a rich melody laced with every possible emotion one can feel. I feel fierce protection toward you, that in the blink of an eye can flip over and become uncontrollable gratitude, ugly crying and all. Although financially it may not have been the wisest choice, those months are months I will never get back with you, and I will store them in my deepest memories as cherished, precious and beautiful.
Watching you grow has been breath-taking. Your personality unfolds like a flower every day, and every new phase we enter I think to myself “This is the best one yet.” My heart is ever-expanding, ever-renewing, ever-learning to love you.
We’ve made so many amazing friends in this year, from friends we already knew and grew closer to, to the strangers who we grew to love, as they went through this journey with us hand in hand – our mother’s group. It has been such an enriching experience to do life with those women. I pray many years from now we are all still hanging out, you laughing as you do with Tom, and the others climbing all over you as you hang patiently with them all. I could not have made it through this year without these people. My village. We were blessed, little man. So blessed.
You are so, so loved, baby Bear. I know you feel it, because your face lights up every time those who love you are around. You sleep like a dream, your temperament quiets my busy mind. You have radically changed my heart in the most irreversible way possible.
So as I go back to work, a job my heart isn’t really in, I will carry your picture with me to remind me of what I’m working for; our future as a family, our home as we build it, literally and metaphorically, and you. You are the best reason I’ve ever had to work hard. And you are the best one yet.
Thank you for this past year Sam. It has been everything I could have hoped it would be. It was truly the best one yet.
Here’s to our new chapter as a family. I do everything for you.