My husband and I are partners in a branding firm. When we were planning for our adoption our game plan, once our munchkin was home and settled, was to bring him to the office with us. We were excited for Jackson to be a part of our little company. One of the many reasons we wanted to—and were excited to—do this was so he could see us in action in the office, which would hopefully give him an appreciation for hard work. My husband and I have always referred to ourselves as “Team D—D squared,” but looking forward, we’d be “Team D—D cubed!”
My husband returned to work within days of our return home from Ethiopia. Several weeks later, once we were settled with a routine established, I attempted to take Jackson to the office. I brought a bag filled with bottles, diapers and toys and set up a portable crib. I closed my door and played soothing music. For naptime I downloaded white noise on my iPhone, closed the blinds and dimmed the lights. I tried everything, but it was impossible to keep Jackson content or quiet. It was abundantly clear. Our plan to bring Jackson to work so I could return to our physical office in any capacity was simply not going to happen. Jackson’s high energy/high octane presence was far too disruptive in the office setting. To say it was counterproductive would be a disingenuous understatement.
I began to work from home and started to set deadlines for a return to the office. I started with a goal of six months. Six months became one year. One year became eighteen months. You get the gist. I tried to bring Jackson into the fold, not only at these milestones but also in between, to no avail. I honestly don’t remember when I simply gave up on the goals, but I did. I chucked the idea of ever returning to work with Jackson as my/our sidekick.
Let’s fast-forward four years and five months. (But hey, who’s counting?) Last month Jackson began VPK. He is in school six hours per day, Monday through Friday. I finally returned to the office and can’t express in words how good it feels. I never in a million years thought I’d be so happy to park my butt at a desk. It’s not the work per se that has me excited. I’ve been getting by while working from home. (To be honest, that statement probably errs on the side of gracious.) It’s the idea of being a part of something again. I’m part of a team, as opposed to slaying dragons by myself all the livelong day. And this absence from Jackson affords me a deep breath of sweet, fresh air that I definitely and desperately need. It allows me to savor my time with him so much more than when we’re glued together 24/7. And as an added bonus, I actually wash my face, brush my teeth and take a shower. And this is daily, folks! And for an added double-bonus, I get to wear decent clothes! These are all things I took for granted pre-munchkin. I have a new understanding of and appreciation for the idiom “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” It’s a given I’ve always been fond of this little munchkin of ours, but seeing him light up when the teacher walks him out to carline absolutely sets my heart afire.
“Once you become the mommy or daddy in your child’s world, it is the only world in which you exist, no matter how much you fancy there is a separate world of your own.” ~Robert Brault