A Letter to My Son: Month 3

Dear Cooper,

Writing you this letter is hard because I am in the midst of my most challenging week as a new mom: leaving you and returning to work. I’ve literally enjoyed every single day, every moment, every minute of our time together since you were born three months ago (TODAY). You continue to amaze me with your happiness, smile, heart, and intelligence.

Time flies. And so much can change in 3 months!!!

I’m blown away at how expressive and animated you are at all hours of the day. I could be changing your diaper at 3 am and you’ll be looking right into my eyes – smiling and cooing – as if you were telling me all about your sweet baby dream.

But this weekend I had to prepare for the challenging week ahead… I was battling a HORRIBLE ear infection all weekend long. I felt so miserable. I was in and out of the urgent care and lived with an ice pack on my head + ear drops in my ear.

I went to bed Sunday night crying myself to sleep. Tears of both physical and emotional pain. I was dreading Monday morning. I didn’t want to go back to work. I really didn’t.

The thought of you leaving you with a woman I barely know simply crushed my heart. Don’t get me wrong- Lora is amazing and seems to adore you. But I felt such anxiety and guilt for leaving you. I kept telling daddy that it feels so unnatural to just leave your baby and carry on with your day.

It’s like someone tells you to function without your heart. 

How is that possible?

Regardless of my emotions, Monday morning was still on the horizon. And I quickly decided that I could be an emotional trainwreck…or I could try to find some positivity in the situation. Now let me tell you…trying to find something positive about leaving you was nearly impossible. It’s hard. I won’t sugar coat the situation.

I cried the first time I dropped you off.

I was fearful.

I was a worry wart.

And I cried (oh wait, I already said that!).

I was thankful for our daycare dry-run last week, but I knew I wasn’t prepared to leave you all day. I woke up early to get ready and have some time to snuggle with you. You were smiling and telling stories…and I wondered if you knew.

Did you know that today was the day I was leaving you? 

Did you know that I have cried so many tears and felt so many emotions about this day? 

This morning.

This heartbreaking morning…

“Well, are you ready?” Daddy asked me.

“No,” I said. “I’m not ready. I quit. I’m not going to work today- I’ll stay at home with Cooper forever.”

“Babe,” Daddy said. “You’ll be fine! You’ll do great and he will have so much fun.”

So much fun without me…my sweet baby boy- will you have fun without me!?

We packed you up into my car and drove over to the daycare together. As a family.

When we got to her house, you seemed so happy that you were kicking off your blanket. We carried you into the house and Lora greeted us with a big smile.

I honestly can’t even remember the conversation we had that morning. I was so anxious. But I do know that Lora was so excited to see you. And you look equally excited to see her.

I kept telling you that I love you. 

That I’ll miss. 

That I’ll be back before you know it.

That I’ll think of you all day long.

I gave you a final kiss and hug goodbye (and so did your Daddy) and we walked back to the car. I watched you from the window again. Trying to get my final glimpse of your adorable face.

I took a deep breath and Daddy grabbed my hand, “Are you okay?!”

“No,” I said. “But I have to give it a try.”

I dropped Daddy back off at the house and kissed him goodbye. As I pulled out of the driveway, I realized I left my water at home. I pulled into the neighbors driveway and turned back around. Daddy looked confused and waved at me to keep going.

“I CAN’T DO THIS!” I screamed. “I am done! I’m not going!”

Daddy’s jaw dropped.

“JUST KIDDING!” I yelled and started laughing at his shocked expression. “I just need my water.”

“Oh my gosh,” he said. “I thought you were serious. Or I thought you were turning back around to go see him again.”

I pulled out of the driveway (for the third time now) and tried to remain mentally strong.

You can either be a trainwreck about this entire situation or you can be thankful that your son is in good hands with someone who truly adores and loves him.

At first, my mind started to wonder…and play the, “What If?” game. But I quickly realized that was a BAD idea.

I needed to think about your smile.

Your happiness.

Your heart.

I couldn’t fear or worry about potential bad situations (that may or may not even happen).

So instead of dwelling on the idea that I was leaving you…I decided to smile and reflect on all of our memories together.

I pictured your smile and heard your laugh. 

And I literally couldn’t wait to see you later that evening.

Picking you up from daycare will always be the highlight of my day.

When I got to work, I was greeted by such happy and supportive people. I had sweet treats on my desk and cute notes.

I love my Iasta family.

My coworkers made this hard day a little easier with their kindness and support. To my surprise, the day flew by.

And when I went to pick you up, Lora quickly said, “Go away! You can’t have him!”

She told me how great you did, which eased my heart.

“I literally can’t get over how sweet and intelligent he is,” Lora said. “He is so angelic.”

When I got home that evening, I googled “angelic” and it means:

1. of or belonging to angels: the angelic host.
2. like or befitting an angel, especially in virtue, beauty, etc.: angelic sweetness.

And I smiled so big and tears swelled up in my eyes.

You are my living angel, Cooper. 

You give me purpose and reason in life. 

And while I HATE spending our days apart, I’m so thankful you’re with Lora – who absolutely adores you. I know she snuggles with you and spoils you with love and kisses. You tell her stories and have fun with your new girlfriends. You’ve officially stolen the heart of so many women already, Coop.

Lora sent me this picture on your first day of daycare.
Clearly daycare is easier for you than me!

I know that being a working mom is hard – just as being a stay at home mom is hard. Both options have a list of pros and cons…ups and downs…struggles and moments of joy.

But I’m hoping in the long run you’ll be thankful that we could provide for you and do fun things together as a family.  Maybe one day I can take you to Disney World – although, I was technically pregnant when I went last December.

Yup, I am super cool and wore a fanny pack.

 I’m fortunate that I work for an extremely supportive company and flexible boss. Even though he doesn’t have children himself, he is SO supportive and understanding about my needs as a new mother. And I get to take off every Thursday to spend with you…Coop Day!!

So, on my morning drive to work, instead of crying I find myself smiling as I think of you and all of our great memories. Here are a few of my favorite moments this past month: 

Our first “Friendsgving” celebration of 2013.

You always remind me the importance of learning to laugh at yourself and to live in the moment.

I made you look like the kid from Home Alone.
We will watch that movie together this Christmas -it’s one of my favorites!

Oh hi, my heart is MELTING at your smile in this picture.
Your happiness is so pure and contagious.
I may or may not have used the baby bottle drying rack for my gigantic wine glass.

I asked if you were ready to be a BIG brother instead of a LITTLE brother.
You were not impressed.

We took silly pictures of daddy while playing COD, which apparently you are addicted to as well.
You got to spend your FIRST family Thanksgiving with your new cousin, Hayden!

Mommy did her first post-baby 5K!

You should seriously be a baby model. I need to find you an agent ASAP!

None of your 3-month old clothes fit.
Talk about high waters!! Sorry babes.

I am literally obsessed with smelling your “stinky feet,”
Your daddy thinks I am gross, but I can’t help it.

We went shopping together for new work clothes.
You did GREAT and we saved SO much money!!!

You watched your first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

And we took our first Thanksgiving family photo!

You were a little snarky that you couldn’t eat the big people food.
Next year, little man…next year.
Once everyone left, you and daddy snuggled up to watch more football.
And my heart melted, per usual.

And you woke up on Black Friday with a GIANT smile on your face.
(Not us).

I continue to Snapchat my friends pictures of us.
Sorry you look chunky in this picture, but my bangs look AMAZING!

I’m beyond excited for your first Christmas!!!

You’re a big boy now. Moving to your pack and play instead of the bassinet.
We’ll get you in the crib soon. One step at a time!

You’re such a deep thinker – I wish I could jump into your mind and listen to your thoughts.

Lora sent me this picture during our daycare dry run – you did amazing.

YAY for Chritmas PJs and mommy’s “Gucci” sweater.

I didn’t want Sunday evening to ever end. I snuggled with you ALL day long.

Daddy and you reading stories before bed.

“Hello, is mom there!?”

“HI MOM! I love you!”
My first day back to work…and your first FULL day at daycare.

Getting ready for Day 2 of daycare, which let me tell you, Day 2 was WAY harder than Day 1!

I couldn’t let you go on Tuesday night. Such a hard day…

But we did better on Wednesday!
One day at a time…

Thank you for filling my life with so much joy and happiness. I probably conclude all monthly letters by saying those words, but I truly mean them so much. You have changed me for the best…

And you are, without a doubt, the best thing that has EVER happened to me. 

Well, your daddy is a close second  – because without him, I wouldn’t have you. Kidding, I love you both to the moon and back.

Much love,

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