Tuesday I go back, physically, to the office for the first time since leaving on March 13. This is a day I have been longing for… dreaming off… It is a day that seemed so far out of my reach and yet here it is and the emotions I am feeling surprise me… my heart hurts, and I already miss the abundance of time I’ve had with my husband and six-year old son.
I knew I was not meant to be a stay at home mom for as long as I can remember… as I was pregnant I was eager to take my 16 weeks of leave (unpaid of course since we do live in the USA), but the idea of not returning to work was not ever in my mind. I will be honest, I was not the mom to cry and cry about going to work. I was honestly excited and looking forward to getting back to that aspect of my life. Was I concerned about leaving my baby??? absolutely, but we knew it was the best decision for all of us… and because of this I am surprised by my emotions at this moment as I am going physically back to work in a few days.
As much as this pandemic has caused grief, hardship, and sorrow for so many, my family has been fortunate. My husband and I were both able to keep working but easily transitioned to working from home. We have seen our only child struggle with being away from other children, but at the end of the day we have only experienced mild inconveniences and I can see how those inconveniences pale in comparison to what I have gained over the last six months….
I have gotten to know my son on a level I never even knew was possible. I have seen him fall in love with reading, I have seen him navigate technology in way that is remarkable, I have seen him struggle and learn to cope with emotions of longing, disappointment, and isolation. I have held him as he cried because of our new normal yet in the next moment I have gotten to have a dance party with him. I have witnessed his resiliency. I know it is time for me to go back to work and he is ready to go back to school in a week, yet my heart hurts to know I will not have time with him like this again. What a gift, a treasure the last six months have been for my relationship with him…
I have also gotten to see a side of my husband that had never been possible. I have seen him manage his job remotely and I have been in awe of his daily responsibilities. While he would tell me what he did at work, to actually get to witness him do it has been remarkable… I also realize the deep love I have for this man. To be in a house with your spouse for six months seems like to be a test of marriage and I can honeslty say, I love Matthew more today than I did when this started…. our marriage is stronger… our family is closer….
And maybe that is why I am sitting here crying about something I have wanted for six months… I don’t want to lose the goodness of the last six months… I don’t want to forget the sacred moments… I don’t want to miss the slowness of life that this time has brought…
But you see what happens next is up to me. Do I fill my calendar and life so much that there is not room for these moments? Or do I make the decision to continue the aspects of the last six months that have been life giving? And the decision is mine… I no longer have a virus to force my decision….