I'm still standing. Three weeks into the new work routine; and I am still here. We're healthy, Jordan's biopsy results were good, and we're well into the school routine once again.
It's been a major adjustment going back to work. I Wake up at 5:00; with Jeff's help, I get everyone dressed and out the door, I commute an hour and fifteen minutes to work, and put in a full day. I bring lunch from home so I can work at my desk during lunch and catch up on everything I don't know and don't want to leave laying on my desk for the next day. I'm learning the ins and outs of a new job, new law, new protocols, new challenges.
I can manage all that. That's the easy part. The hard part is wondering what effect this new change is having on the kids. I'd be lying if I said it's all been wonderful. It hasn't. There have been ups and downs.
Mina seems to be adjusting well. When I come home, she runs into my arms and greets me with hugs and kisses. That is an awesome feeling. I hug her and kiss her and feel enormously grateful that she is so easy to please right now.
But Jordan doesn't do that. He stays put doing whatever he was doing before I came in. Sometimes, he's sitting at the art table writing or drawing. Sometimes he might be in the playroom building an elaborate Parthenon style structure, complete with miniature race cars stacked among the columns.
I've learned to walk over to him and put my hand on his shoulders and just stroke them till he's relaxed around me. And then I let him warm up to me. It hurt at first seeing him ignore me when I came home. I finally got to hear his explanation one night last week, and then it all made sense.
As we watched Ariel the mermaid in "Ariel's New Beginning," I noticed he seemed very sad at a point in the movie where Ariel and her father were having a conflict. After much prompting, Jordan came over to the couch and sat next to me. I remarked how sad Ariel's father must feel when Ariel was so angry at him.
"I would feel really sad too," I said.
And then I looked at Jordan and he was starting to cry. He told me.
"I miss you Mommy."
And then we both cried.
I get Jordan. I can look at him and know exactly what he's thinking. He may look like his dad, but his emotions - he gets those from me.
There's a lot of reasons why I think I needed to get back to working outside the home. More than anything else, I think it's the right thing for us as a family down the road. I hope things will improve over time. I understand it when Jordan says he misses me. I miss them!
Over the course of the day at work, I'm generally too busy to dwell on my feelings. But from time to time, I'll notice the hour and find myself wondering what the kids are up to. It's 3:15, I'll think. Time for pick up. 3:45, time for yoga class. 6:00... I wonder what they're eating for dinner. Will they be getting dessert tonight?
At 5:00, I race out the door, sprint to the A train, sprint off at Port Authority and run up the escalator, and three flights of stairs to the 211 gate. I stand in line and stare at my Blackberry.
6:30 - I'm home. I unlock the door rush in, eager to see their faces. I think about that during the ride home. As we come out of the Lincoln Tunnel, I find myself thinking.. "I'm so close now."