that, right there.

I think sometimes as a parent, you get lost. You think being a parent is all about the day-in, day-out boring stuff like making sure your two year old brushes his teeth or wiping the gobs of snot from an already irritated nose.

It isn’t about that at all.

Those things are necessities, of course. No one wants to change a poopy diaper, but you certainly can’t just let it linger and sit there. Making sure that a child gets fed, hydrated, bathed, dressed, and combed are definitely a part of the minutiae of parenting.

But that moment, when your two-year-old, who had spurned you for attentions from daddy just hours before, only wants his mommy to hold his hand as he lays on the couch watching his favorite cartoon.

Or the moment, when it is three in the morning and your five-month old has grown so restless that you know it is only a matter of time until she opens her eyes and plaintively cries out for you. Where you rub the sleep from your eyes and hold her close, nursing her. Where she finishes, opens her eyes and gives you a big grin as she pulls your glasses off so she can touch your face and see you better.

That, right there. That is what it is about.

baby girl

cruel and unusual

There is nothing rational about my feelings about dropping my three month old child off for daycare. But I’m his Mommy, so I don’t have to be rational, right?

My brain knows and understands that he will be fine. In fact, he will be more than fine. He is in the care of a licensed facility with women who just ooh and ah over him every time we go in. They are more than capable of feeding, changing, and playing with him. He will adjust and get used to the environment and eventually nap just fine. The other little ones flock to him when he comes in, and he loves to watch them. It will be good for him.

But my heart says that no one knows him like I do. No one else anticipates when he is starting to get hungry or tired, or when he needs his pacifier, or when he wants a change in scenery or to sit up instead of laying down. No one else can get him to giggle quite the same, or get him to tell them a story full of coos and squeals quite the same. I have a happy baby because I know what makes him happy.

My brain knows and understands that he doesn’t love me any less, nor do I love him any less, just by virtue of the fact that he has to go to daycare. I am still his Mommy, and nothing is going to change that.

But my heart says that it doesn’t matter that daycare doesn’t change how we feel about each other. It says that is all the more reason to just stay home and cuddle him. I have nurtured him since the very moment he came into existence as a few multiplying cells, and I should be allowed to continue to do so.

My brain knows and understands that this is just how it has to be. I have substantial student loan debt that must be paid. We want to build a house eventually, and in order to do that we are going to have to try to save some more money. I went to school for years and years in order to become an attorney and I do like my job. If I want to keep it, I have to work.

But my heart says that I did this all wrong. We waited until after I finished school to start our family, and thought that was absolutely the right decision. But maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t. I never imagined the love I would feel for my own child, or that I might want to stay home with him. I never pictured myself as a stay at home mother. I thought I would be bored out of my mind. I could not have been more wrong. There is nothing more that I want in this world to be at home with that baby boy of mine, feeding him, playing with him, and watching every moment of his every day.

And that is what is quite possibly the hardest part of all of this to swallow: I inflicted this upon myself. This is all a direct result of the decisions I have made. I am not a person who lives with regrets, but I truly regret those decisions today. Maybe in the future it won’t be so heart-wrenchingly awful and I will be able to enjoy my work again. But for now? This arrangement is just cruel and unusual punishment.

there’s no place like . . . well, you know

Home, of course.

One of the biggest changes I’ve experienced since graduation has been being home just about every night.  It is strange and wonderful at the same time.

It’s been a bit of an adjustment at times.  I don’t feel as organized as I was each week during law school.  When you have to pack your clothes, food, and school books each week to ensure you have everything, it is easy to just get everything together for the week on Sunday.  Then you don’t have to think about what you’re wearing, eating, or doing on a specific day.  It’s all done for you.  Now, I not only have to plan things for myself but also for that extra person who is suddenly around me all the time: the hubby.  I can’t just watch what I want to watch, or throw just anything together for a meal. I just can’t change the radio station or monopolize the wi-fi.

But it’s also been wonderful.  I get to sleep in my own bed at night, and relax on my comfy couch and watch my television.  I get to cook real meals and eat fresh food that isn’t reheated every day.  I don’t have to worry about forgetting something, because even when I’m at work it’s only a 15 minute drive if I truly need it.

Most of all, I get to come home to my best friend.  We wake up in the morning and talk about our dreams from the night before (okay, only the weekends for this one – who has time during the week?!).  We come home and talk about how our days were and the latest crisis we dealt with at work.  We make dinner together, and share in the chores around the house.  We celebrate special and quasi-special occasions, but also have days where we don’t do much but just hang out with each other.  We make plans with friends and family, and we even get to make plans for our future, together.  It’s like our lives aren’t on hold anymore.

I don’t remember clicking my ruby red slippers three times, but I must have.  Because there really is no place like home.

just a little distraction

I meant to post about the bar exam, awhile ago. But as more time lapses between then and now, I feel less like dwelling on it. Or even thinking about it, really.

To briefly satisfy inquiring minds: it was brutal. I hand-wrote memos, a contract provision, and essays for six solid hours the first day, and answered 200 mind-numbing multiple choice questions the second day. And I have no idea how it went. So, you can see why reliving it wasn’t exactly a top priority.

In a quest to distract myself from the fact that I have to wait until September 13th to find out if I passed, I’ve been staying characteristically busy. There was a bachelorette weekend, starting work full time again, a wedding weekend, a concert and trip to the Iowa State Fair, and just life in general to keep me occupied. In other words, not much has changed since the days of law school in terms of my ridiculous schedule.

Thankfully, I’m now preparing for my first vacation alone with the hubby since our honeymoon ten years ago. I say that I’m thankful for this because I desperately need some time off, away from things, but with him. I need to relax and take a deep breath before truly delving into the rest of our lives. And I need to just be somewhere new, because that travel bug that I have just doesn’t seem to be going away.

And let’s be honest. I need something to further distract me from the never-ending wait for the bar results. Anything will do. In fact, does anyone know anything about temporary, medically induced comas? By the time the next few weeks go by, I just might need one to preserve my sanity.

forty-six

There are relatively few days left until graduation — only forty-six! — and it is starting to dawn on me that life is really and truly about to change. It’s hard to think that in just a couple of short months, I will be living at home full time again. This has a few very obvious implications.

Ryan and I will have to readjust to one another again. Part of what I love about us is that we have still remained our own individual selves in addition to being a couple. Some of the freedom and individuality that has automatically come with me living in the city during the week is going to go away, or it will at least become more of an effort to preserve it. We’re both used to kind of doing what we need or want to do during the week with only a phone call each day between us. I’m so looking forward to being home, but I know we’re going to have to readjust to being around one another every evening and weekend again.

I won’t see my friends every day anymore. Life is going to be so different without these people. We won’t have pre-made social events through the school to keep us close, or even just classes where we see one another several times a week. Law school has provided me with what amounts to a very unexpected wealth of friendship. I’ve met some absolutely amazing people, and they are soon to be spread around the state and the country. Thankfully there are things like email and Facebook, but those things are just not going to suffice. I’m going to miss my Guacamole Fridays, and other friend dates. I’ll miss getting ready at friends’ houses for events, or movie nights. I’ve been terrible my whole life at keeping in contact with friends, but I know that in order to avoid losing these wonderful people I’m going to have to make some changes in that arena.

And finally, I will no longer be taking classes. I will be out there, DOING things. I will have clients and help them through court processes. I will be able to get paid for what I am doing, as opposed to paying thousands of dollars to work in the clinic. I am truly looking forward to getting started in my career, and having my regular life back.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that it will be bittersweet on May 13th. I can’t wait to move on, but at the same time I don’t want to leave the learning and friendships behind. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m going into the law, because I will continue to learn as I go through my career and the legal community is a small one so I will hopefully see some of my classmates in the future as colleagues.

Forty-six days!

the bluest skies you’ve ever seen are in Seattle*

I’m so very excited that over the next six months: I will graduate law school. Two of my favorite people will graduate from college. A friend will marry the man she’s loved for so many years. Ryan’s brother and sister will both get married, and I will have the honor of standing up with them. I will study for and take the bar exam.

And then, comes The Wait.

The worst wait of my entire life, really. It was hard to wait for my score after I took the LSAT. It was miserable to wait for responses from schools when I applied during my senior year of college. It was excrutiating to wait for grades after 1L exams. And I’ve waited for grades and results every semester since, including the MPRE. But not one of those waiting periods will compare to what I anticipate The Wait to be. The Wait that will come between taking the bar exam and the results will be like no other.

So, in order to distract myself from The Wait, Ryan and I are taking our first trip somewhere with just the two of us (and not to visit family) since our honeymoon. It will be just shy of ten years since that trip when we leave for Seattle, and I can’t wait!

If you’ve been to the Emerald City, what is a “must do” for us while we’re there?

*title of post from Seattle by Perry Como.

final push

I thought for sure I’d have the time and inclination to say something here over winter break, but I suppose I was just too busy to sit down and get much accomplished.

Here’s a summary of break, in numbers

  • Family Christmases: 3
  • Tries at getting all of the Christmas lights on the house to work at once: 3
  • Times successful at getting all of the Christmas lights on the house to work at once: 0
  • Hours spent playing the Wii on NYE: 3
  • Bottles of wine consumed: 3
  • Belgian waffles consumed New Year’s Day: 2
  • N0n-law school books read: 6
  • Episodes of Modern Family Season 1 watched: 24
  • Take-home exams completed: 2
  • Days worked at the law firm: 8.5
  • Days spent doing nothing, really: 5
  • 1L memos graded: 22
  • Babies cuddled: 2
  • Cute children who provided entertainment at various events: 7
  • Miles driven to celebrate a 25th birthday: 754
  • Times I thought I’d fall on my face or my rear ice skating: 1,007,129
  • The World’s Best strawberry margaritas consumed: 2
  • Photos taken at various events and happenings: 612
  • Times I wished for more time: too many to count!

I definitely made the most of my last real break from responsibility, even if there was still some responsibility involved. Two weeks into my last semester of law school, it’s starting to dawn on me that it truly will be over soon. I’m enjoying my classes and my extracurriculars, and have managed to schedule a bit more “me” time. It is still exhausting, but this is it — the final push. May will come all too quickly (though some days it’s not soon enough!), and it will be time to move on to the next step — bar prep. Here’s to a fantastic semester!