We are officially in it. Fall has begun. Solomon had his first day away from his mama with his new nanny. Eliana had an extended play date with her fourteen year old BFF. They both awoke way too early. I'm pretty certain they picked up on my anxiety about it all. Eliana's first words this morning: But I don't want you to go to work, Mama!
Jeff, being the stupendous papa that he is, packed up his big, old climbing pack for Eliana's day. He made her a sandwich and cut it into four squares. He packed a spare set of clothes (which proved to be a very good thing...) and lots of books and games. After she was all set to go, he expanded on the letter I had begun for Solomon's nanny. He added a whole section on bottle feeding. He then pasted more information from a web page with more feeding tips. Rock star dad.
While he was busy getting them ready, I was drinking a glass of my new favorite Pinot at Scotty's, Solomon happily snuggled against my chest. We were having our last hurrah and it involved spinach salad and wine with old friends. I felt so proud as I watched them pass him around the booth. He smiled and they oohed. It was a perfect last night of summer.
But he wasn't that congenial, consolable little guy today. Apparently he was pretty damn upset without his mama. Aimee said she tried everything. He wouldn't take the bottle. He wouldn't settle. Even in the Ergo. Even when she sang and bopped.
But eventually, of course, he did. And that's where going through it the second time helps. Cuz even though I cried as I nursed him this morning, I pulled it together pretty quickly because I knew that all we had to do was get through this day. This would be the longest, the hardest, the day with the most unknowns. Perspective shifts a bit when you are going through something a second time.
I walked around the corner at 7:58, mug of coffee in hand, canvas bag with my teacher stuff ready to rock. The first person I saw was one of my favorite colleagues. Her eyes were red and puffy and she was hugging the art teacher. She had to leave her one year old. She returns to work full time this year. We hugged and my tears came back.
But it didn't really matter. No one was hiding anything. There are a lot of new mamas at the school and we band together and get each other. It's really a beautiful thing. No one was pretending it was easy. And we sat through our meetings and shared our ideas and sipped our coffee. When it was time to break for lunch I raced back around the corner at lightening speed. Aimee had managed to get him down. My breasts instantly expelled ten ounces of milk. I inhaled yogurt and cottage cheese because I clearly needed to replenish my dairy supply.
Jeff woke up Soli and gave him a bottle while I pumped. I then let Aimee hold him while I talked to him. His big blue eyes bulged from his head as if to say, what the hell is going on mama? Who is this woman and why the hell is she holding me instead of you?
But he was safe. And healthy. And still his perfect little manly self.
I returned to work lighter. Stronger. We're in it and we're all gonna be just fine.