Motivation, Tinyness

Today the sun was gleaming and strong and sweat-provoking in the same way as the late July sun: clinging to black tank tops, searing.  The weekends are the syrup on the week: I have Corey as my Copilot of The Crazy and he can wrangle one child while I stuff the other one under my shirt, he can point out the scuttling rock crabs while I point my phone at them, collecting shards of late summer for wistful remembrance later.

In the afternoon we dropped Jude and his mini-bike with my Mom, Nolan at his Dad’s, and we took Summer to the gym to sleep/hangout while we garnered a sweat.

I’m employing the slash in the previous sentence because if Summer doesn’t sleep at the gym, she just hangs out there wide-eyed in her car seat, regarding all the maniacs with scab shins and knee socks with a calm tolerance.  She watches us grunt and strain and hammer out our bottled angst,  for an hour if we want, no problem.  Corey and I look at her and we look at each other and we are appalled by the fact that we made a human that is so completely opposite from her older brother.  She’s so completely different from us too, with a mellow sweetness that doesn’t match the frenetic stubborn firecracker-ness of all of her immediate family members.

She smiling these days, and making crazily adorable cooing noises, and she is the most laid back human being I have ever encountered.  People regard me with concern sometimes, ask about the insanity of three children and whether I feel compelled to toss myself into a meat grinder sometimes but honestly, my 2.5 month old has not in any way made my life more challenging.  She sleeps through the night, she naps well, she doesn’t get upset.  She has these eyes that know things, but she also possesses a push-button smile that lights up her face with a dwarfish glee and it is so innocent and possibility-filled that it very often makes me want to cry.  More so lately. Because here’s the thing: I return to work in three weeks.

I say that, and people look at me, and etched in their frown lines is a mixture of pity and sympathy and next usually comes “Oh wow, so soon?”

It wasn’t all that soon before Summer existed on the outside, I could easily envision going back to work because work is what I do best.  It’s what I love.  I am a better career woman than I am a Mom, and I actually think that’s saying something because I know I am not a bad Mother.  I love to strategize and create and bring in money and summon friends out of prospects who were once annoyed by my persistence. I like to feel I’m contributing to something outside my household and I thrive on conquering goals someone else has set for me, particularly the ones that seem absurd.  I’m a nicer woman when I’m learning new things and soaking up brand new technology, sharing it with others.  I went back to work a few months after Jude was born and I didn’t have much of a problem with it.

But Summer.  Her giant eyes and soft tiny fingers and the way she smiles from the crook of my arm.  Her tolerant allowance of Nolan’s constant face in her face, of Jude’s insistence that she have Doggie on her forehead.  Her total trust that I will be there, that I’m going nowhere. The fact that she is my last baby, my tiny and unforseen girl.  My perfect, perfect girl.

It makes me a bit crazy, the welling over of this guilt, the pervasiveness of the pit in my stomach because Corey went back to work a few days after Summer was born and I know it’s different, he doesn’t have milk and he didn’t brew her in his abdomen etc. but why the hell is it just so easy for him to balance the work and the home?  To be our co pilot in the evenings and the weekends and for that to be OK and fine.  I want to have his confidence in his priorities and decisions.  And I can’t.  Because I’m a woman and because that guilt is built in, either way. I know. I know.

It doesn’t make it suck any less.

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10 thoughts on “Motivation, Tinyness

  1. Rachel, we get a year paid but the pay is about $ 450.00 a week which is not liveable in a super expensive city like Vancouver. And also I’d started at my company right before I found out I was surprise-pregnant with Summer, and though they were wonderful about it, I have a number attached to me and the longer I’m away, the harder it is on them. A year away from corporate sales would be difficult for my whole team.

  2. In that last picture she has something about her that so reminds me of Nolan when I met him as a babe it’s unbelievable. She, like all of your kids, is beyond precious and I am so happy for you all to have Summer in your lives! And I offer a solid resounding YES to all that you said about the guilt, the difficulty because she is your last – just ALL OF IT. Your way with words never ceases to amaze me.

    • Thanks Nicole — wow, Nolan was a baby so long ago, hey? I love that this resonates with my fellow career woman — always helps to know you’re not alone in your guilt-web, you know? Hope you and your lovely family are well. ❤

  3. Awww, Kristin. I had my son first, then my daughter and she tugs at my heart in a completely different way. I always say that my son is the child of my heart (he made me a mom, and taught me about the deepest love possible) and my daughter is the child of my soul (I feel her deep down in a different, profound way than I do my son). Summer sounds like she’ll adjust to the new situation as easily as she adjusts to stuffed elephants on her head

  4. I’ve been following you (and Leah, Amanda, and Niece Linda) since you all had tiny babies, but have fallen by the wayside in the last couple of years. What a surprise to see that there are now three tiny darlings in your life. Congratulations to you and Corey for producing such a good-looking family!

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    • Judie — I absolutely remember you and your always-thoughtful comments, stretching back almost a decade now, wow! Thank you so much for stopping by and saying nice things again — I hope you are doing well and enjoying life fully. 🙂

      • I’ve put a bookmark in my “Check Every Day” file, so as to keep up better. Nolan was an infant . . . and now look at him!! He seems utterly devoted to his siblings. How lucky you are – and it shows in your smile!!!

        I’ve been busy with DH’s cancer, but still have time for other things. I have a blog now, too, if you are interested. It’s mostly just pictures with expanded captions, with an occasional longer “essay”. Just click my picture. ;->

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