Monday, October 27, 2014

Parenthood: Week 74 - Missing Ollie

I thought that leaving Ollie and coming to work this fall would be easier than last fall.

I was wrong.

Last fall when I returned to work Ollie was about five months old. We were still getting the hang of the parenting thing and after spending all summer at home, I wasn’t sure how I was going to fare being away from my family.

It was bad. I missed Ollie a lot but more than that I worried about Ollie and Diana. It’s not that I didn’t trust Diana but Ollie was such a little baby at that time and I didn’t want to leave Diana without the support I had providing all summer. I got through it. I learned how to refocus on work when I was at school and I learned to embrace the pangs of missing Ollie as a reminder of how much I loved my little guy.

It’s one year later. Ollie is a toddler. Diana and I have been through many more situations with our little guy: plane flights, long drives, nights alone with Ollie and even shopping trips to Michael’s. I was blessed to have time at home with my little guy but I figured going to work would be easier this time around.

It wasn’t.

I actually worry about Ollie less this time around. He’s much stronger and he can advocate for himself better. The problem is that with every month he becomes more expressive and while it melts my heard to heart him call me “da, doo” (his way of saying daddy), it almost breaks my heart when Diana tells me that he calls for me when I’m not home.

It’s hard because many days, I leave before Ollie wakes up and I don’t get to say good morning to him. In the same way that my day didn’t feel like it really started in college, until I met up with Diana in the dining hall for lunch my day doesn’t feel like it has really started until I see Ollie. Not seeing him in the morning makes me miss him even more.

While I can compartmentalize at work better than I have in the past, my family is almost always close to the front of my mind. Every day it’s a struggle trying to decide how long to stay work knowing that there’s work to be done but that I want to get home to see my Ollie-bear.

When I get home after work sometimes Ollie is happy to see me, but other times he’s upset for some reason. It’s like he gets a wave of emotion realizing that he has missed me all day long and when I pick him up he pushes me away. Usually after a little time, he gets over it and eagerly tells me about his day.

The fact that Ollie misses me makes me want to be home with him even more. This makes my feelings of missing him even more intense. At the same time, the fact that he wants to be with me as much as I want to be with him makes me feel love.  Knowing we both want to be together means that we are truly there for each other.

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