Time In A Bottle

JJ rocks the 'hawk.

When I sit and rock JJ to sleep at night, I think about all of the things yet to come – all the firsts that are just waiting to happen.  I wonder how my life would be even more different when JJ has a little brother or sister.  I’m really looking forward to teaching him things – how to ride a bike, how to cook, how to play games….
But then he falls asleep.  After that kid drifts off into dream land, I always hold him tighter and say to myself “Savor this moment…  Savor this moment…. Savor this moment….” He nuzzles and gets really comfy; I almost don’t want to put him in the crib and go do all of the things that were put off from yesterday.  In fact, I don’t EVER want to put him down.  I wish I could save all of these moments and bottle them up and take them out whenever I want.  Like when he throws a temper tantrum when I try to change his diaper.  Or when I really miss him while I’m at work.  Or the day he leaves for college.
If the shoe fits, chew on it.
No one told me how life would be once he got a little older.  JJ is a crawling, eating, talking, crying, laughing MACHINE.  That kid has more things to do and more places to go than the President.  The most difficult thing right now is the realization that he’s about to turn a year old – and I’m trying to figure out how it happened.  I can physically see him growing and I get a little frightened once I realize how fast it’s happening.  He’s taken his first steps, he’s babbling all over the place, discovering new things…. It’s a flash of light that will be over in a second.  I don’t know how I feel about all of that.
A gentleman that I work with recently told me that your life is like a roll of toilet paper.   As it gets older and older,  it unrolls faster and faster.  It's the cold hard truth:  We all dread getting older but as it starts to happen, we feel like we're on a roller coaster and can't get off.  That ride is so much faster and scarier when you have a kid.  I imagine that it will probably be even faster as he continues to grow.

Trying out our new car seat in the store!
To all my friends who are pregnant or have newborns:  No matter how much you want to scream when you’re up for the tenth time at night, savor the moment.   When you’re frantically rubbing poop out of your hair, savor the moment.  When your little miracle is sleeping in your arms and the entire world could crumble and you could care less… savor the moment.   All of that will be even more precious later.  I promise. 


Seeing Clearly

Every day, JJ is more amazing than yesterday.  He recently took his first step and blew me away.  He's babbling, feeding himself, discovering running water, pestering the kitty, and marathon crawling.  He has more energy than I can ever muster up on my very best day.  Jerry and I are both constantly in awe of his little life, which is going by way too fast.  I feel quite saddened to look back to see that I missed some of that.  Don't worry - I'm making up for it now!

The other day, I backed myself up and read the blogs that I started posting in January.  Memories of desperation, frustration, and anger resurfaced to shed some light on how I'm feeling now.  I have to admit - it's been quite a journey.

My fears of him getting hurt or sick are still positioned on center stage in my life.  I believe that this is quite normal, considering that he's my first child and the majority of parents that I talk to about this feel the same way.  However, the paralyzing fear has eased into a state of constant caution, which is managable.  At the very least, more managable than before.

I never thought I would return to a sense of being a person again from the monotone life that haunted me.  Moms are caregivers - the mission to existence is to take care of the child.  That existence often extends to taking care of everyone else in the world, too.... except Mom often neglects herself.  I don't want to live in a world where I don't matter to myself.  I don't want to feel obligated to take care of everyone.  I'm getting to a point now where I don't do those things anymore.  The only one who needs my care is my child and that's where my obligations stop.  Everything else is bonus points.  I couldn't see that a few months ago and the stress of the burden was overwhelming. 

The tears have nearly all dried up.  When I think about what I was a few months ago, I get a little teary because I actually feel sorry for myself.  I feel sorry for that woman that used to be in my mirror, staring back at me, wondering what to do next.  I want to hug that woman so sat in front of her television, crying hysterically at "A Baby Story."  I want to reach out to her and tell her what I know now. I'd tell her to believe all of those people who are saying that it will get better.  The hopelessness and defeat will fade as fast as they settled in.  Everything is going to be okay.

I don't know if I would believe me if that actually happened.

The grass is getting greener every day.  I still feel as if the journey is not over, but the road is a bit smoother now.  I've turned my auto-pilot off and it's been disconnected for a few weeks.  The denial over the Post-Partum Depression is fading as I'm able to find comfort in looking back with a light heart and realizing that, thankfully, all of it is temporary.  Even as bad days come around now,  I have a sense of hope that tomorrow will probably be a little better, or at the very least - has the potential. 


A Month's Work

I realize that it's been over a month since I've blogged, but so much has happened in that short amount of time, that I really need to write about it now. Things such as this:

America's birthday! We had a great Fourth, spending it with a few friends and some good food. Other than being HOT outside, it was a great time.

Even more importantly than that, I'm no longer a retail slave. I had accepted a position with Forever 21, a clothing retail store at a local mall. I mostly accepted the job because it was different and partly because the State of Virginia Unemployment board said I had to. I only had half a choice in the matter.

Anyway, working there was a little more demanding than what I expected. After the first week, I was not having fun, I was not fulfilled, and most of all... I was going home exhausted and wasn't able to spend any quality time with JJ. I just wanted to sit and put my feet up and that's just not like me. I decided after only two short weeks that I would start looking for another job.

It was a Wednesday that I got a phone call from a woman who found my resume on Monster.com. My resume had been there for... well.... forever. I was pretty skeptical when I called her back, and even more disbelieving when she asked if I could interview for a Proposal Coordinator position the next day. Of course I said yes; coincidentally I had the next day off. I arrived at their downtown office at 2 p.m.on Thursday afternoon, still not expecting much out of the interview. I had looked over the job description that the Human Resources Manager sent to me and the qualifications were higher than those I had under my belt. I knew there was no was I was going to nail this job.

As the interview progressed, I started cracking jokes and making conversation. I figured there was not much reason to be formal- I was under qualified anyway. The two men that interviewed me were hysterical - we laughed our way through the entire process.

I went home strangely satisfied. I felt like the interview went really well, despite my doubts of my qualifications. After all, they wouldn't have called me if they weren't interested. Around 7 p.m. that night, I was finishing up our bedtime routine when the HR Manager called. She told me that I should sit down, which I immediately did.

Not only did she offer me the job, but she wanted me to start that following Monday. I was in such disbelief that I nearly dropped the phone. This was my big break!! I had waited so long for this company to come find me and behold, here they were, with not a minute to spare. I accepted and wondered all night how I was going to break the news to my other job. It wasn't easy, but I divorced my tedious, tiring retail job to begin working with a wonderful Federal Government contractor in downtown Richmond. It's the first day of my third week and I couldn't be more thrilled. I'm not worried about JJ, I'm not worried about taking emergency time off if he's sick, I'm not worried about our finances anymore, I'm not worried about my job security.... it's a tremendous feeling. I have a purpose... my work has a purpose. This is it - this is the big one. The Fat Mama. The grande affaire.

Thanks, Monster. My calling really WAS calling... I owe you guys a big one.


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