I had a dream last night that I was back at work, and I was so relieved! What was the big deal? I thought.
It's not going to happen anytime soon, because of the remodel, and because I'm really not sure what/where I'd want to work anyway. It's just on my mind some more partly because my scattered thoughts got more focused from talking a lot with my successful sister-in-law over the weekend, whose career in the corporate world is skyrocketing, and who really enjoys her job.
But tonight, idly writing an email message, it came together for me, how Gabriel going to school marks a real change in my life. When he was born, I was his whole life. Since then, he's gradually gained autonomy as he's grown up, but school marks the beginning of his own "career," if you will, his own life as a student. It makes me want to be a grownup again, to resume my own life, to re-integrate my adult side. I can't, and never want to, completely set aside my life as a mom, but I'm readier than ever for it not to be my entire life.
It's hard not to think sometimes that the perfect phase of momhood/kidhood for me is having a kindergarten 5-year-old and a preschool 3-year-old. One kid in real school with his own life now, and one on the way there soon. Not too close, not too far.
But there is this poor innocent *baby* in the mix! One who deserves a mom who's into being a baby mom.
Today I had a lot of wonderful baby-mom moments with Katrina. I sat on the floor a lot and played with her. I held her up by her hands, and she cackled and giggled, delighted by her stance, though still unsure of how to move her feet. I made her Wedgit towers and she had a grand time knocking them over. I got out a little push-wagon for her and helped her stand up on it. We made lots of funny noises and faces during mealtimes.
We also got a very nice unexpected visit from Kevin and daughter Fiona this evening. It was 11 months ago today that Dave called Kevin at 2:30am, the classic call: "It's TIME!" and Kevin rushed over to watch the boys while we went to the hospital to bring this feisty little life into the world. Kevin, like most people who haven't seen Katrina for a while, was surprised by her reddish hair. She was enthralled by the visitors and liked playing with Fiona. Meantime, the boys were very well-behaved and charming.
Such an idyllic picture. How could I not be completely, utterly taken and delighted by my life? What privilege I must enjoy, what lack of adversity must exist, for me to complain about my life caring for a healthy, vital baby! What's it going to take to appreciate all I have, someone getting seriously ill? Financial ruin? Breaking a limb? So now I must reconcile guilt with the tug of wanting to rejoin the grownup world. I want to want to be a baby mom again. Or maybe I'm just forgetting that a big part of being a baby mom is missing your grownup side.
This ambivalent state will fix itself whether I want it to or not. And Gabriel's going to school is the clear, tangible evidence that the baby life is in fact very, very fleeting.