The babe is boycotting. I went back to work this week, the hardest back to work I’ve ever done, and now he’s boycotting me. I’m sure it’s all in my head, but I’m also pretty sure he’s punishing me for leaving. When I get home, all I want to do is snuggle him, and he refuses to look at me. Getting the cold shoulder already. I’m in trouble. But there are blessings in this return. First and foremost, his daddy is spending some quality time with him by taking paternity leave now, so he doesn’t have to go to daycare so quickly. And my new job, the one that I’m starting, I LOVE it. I’m so incredibly excited to take my passion for nursing, and spread it to the nurses of the future. I’ve spent the last couple days in faculty meetings, and it wasn’t until yesterday morning, when X-man asked where I was working, that it really sunk in: I’m nursing faculty. All the years of hard work are finally starting to pay off. And it’s taken a long time to get here. But its all come in perfect timing. Even if the timing wasn’t mine.
We talked about water today, in one of my faculty breakout sessions. The college is working on a collaboration of sorts, focusing on the topic of water. Each department is going to be looking at different impacts of water based on what they study and in nursing, there is no shortage of ideas. One thing we talked about with my fellow nursing groupies was water in relation to birth. There are so many connotations of water involved in birthing another life into this world. There is the breaking of water, water births, how long after delivery a woman bathes or a child is bathed (based on cultural standards) and so on. Water is kind of a big deal. And in talking about birth, I was able to share my story.
That’s been one of the big issues with this whole infertility thing-not ever being able to relate when other women gave their heroing stories of delivery. Simply because I didn’t have one. And in the sense of typical birth stories, I never will. Or so I thought. Because with my babe, I do have a story. I may not have birthed him into this world, but I had the advantage that most other adoptive mothers don’t: not only was I present for his birth, I was a part of the birthing team, cheering on his delivery, waiting on his first breath, and cutting the cord. I was there when her water was broke and the heavy parts of labor took over her body, the contractions rippling her belly as my son worked his way into this world.
And I gave him his first bath, my hands soapy and slippery on his butter-soft skin. I carefully placed him in water that was tested for temperature on the inside of my wrist, armed with a white hospital cloth and Johnsen & Johnsen. It was such an intimate moment, and bath time still is. It’s funny really how baths have changed in my house. When we first adopted Bot-Bot, she was nearly eight, and I didn’t know how to bridge that gap between where she may need help and where she decidedly did not. Baths were not something she wanted help with. Totally understandable. After all, she didn’t know me, yet was thrust into my home under the pretenses of us becoming her parents. That’s a lot to take in for anyone, especially a seven year old. The twins were a different story. They were only three, so assisting with bath time was a necessity. And we learned a lot about them at that time. X-man was terrified of the water. Not the typical little kid don’t-get-soap-in-my-eyes afraid. He was all out panic stricken of the shower. It took months of gentle showers with the hand-held nozzle to keep him from screaming in the shower. We don’t know the root of that fear, but are incredibly grateful that he seems to be overcoming it. Now our little boy who was terrified of the water is a little fish and water slide junky.
We’ve come a long way on so many accounts, but in many we still have a long ways to go. I’m praying for fluidity. For the peace that comes with the tranquil smells of baby soap and bedtime baths. I’m looking for grace in this new season where I have to leave my babe at home, and strength to do the work I’ve been called too. But right now, in this very moment, I’m thankful that the babe has stopped boycotting me, and is snuggled in on my chest, breathing the heavy sighs of sleep.