So it seems crazy but it is almost a year since Nicole left work. Next week she starts back here and in a couple of weeks we have Elyse’s first birthday party. I can’t believe how time has flown. Not only have we now got a walking baby, but she has already met her Aunt Fizzy and her EuroGrannies while they were here both in October and April. There has been a ton of diapers, endless bottles and many, many sleep interrupted nights and it is weird to think back to the start when we brought her home and felt like we really had no idea what to do. From the first night at home when I think we must have checked on her a hundred times to the first time I had to lower the crib because she was learning to pull herself up it has been a roller coaster ride of heartwarming human development which, for me being an atheist is about as close to a miracle as I can imagine. Bob told me before she was born that “you don’t know love and you don’t know tired until you have a baby” and that is really a wonderfully simple and accurate statement of the last year. I didn’t realize I could love something as much as I love my little girl. Even though I love Nicole with all my heart, the love you have for your child is something completely different and is as indescribable to most people as that adolescent notion of “just knowing” when you meet “the one” who you are meant to be with. Our lives are so completely different now although we live in the same place and work the same jobs our lives are now filled with meaning and purpose, to provide as much love as possible to that gorgeous little girl as we can. I know we haven’t done a great job at documenting how this year has been, and I hope we will continue to write what we can but for now I am overwhelmed with the amazing process that is the growth of our little baby.
But until now, it’s all been pretty easy. This Tuesday after the Victoria long weekend will be a huge test for all 3 of us. It will be Elyse’s first full day at daycare and Nicole’s first day back at work and I can’t say that I think it’s going to go well. Nicole and I haven’t worked together for a year now, but that is not the biggest deal. The big deal is that for the last year Nicole and Elyse have been inseparable, going out to Stroller Mates together, going to Baby Babble, hanging out at the Early Years Centre, all the things that I hear about but have a hard time imagining are now going to be but a distant memory and suddenly the time we have with our baby will be severely restricted. For me, it’s a transition that will give me more time with my wife, something that I have missed, but for her, it is a harsh reality check back into the real world of work, ringing phones, sitting at a desk all day dealing with co-workers and I think it’s going to be a brutal wake up call. I wish that there was a way to avoid it, to allow Nicole to stay home with the baby but the way things are in the economy nowadays it’s just not feasible. So I guess it will mean that poor little Elyse will have to come home from daycare only to be required to entertain us for hours while we try to get back the time we have missed at work. Maybe she will have to start going to bed later so we can squeeze in an extra hour of play time… It’s all a little bit sad in a way, but also just another part of the rollercoaster that is being a parent.