I never thought I would ever regret my decision to go back to work this year, but that was before I’d actually met Finn. This past week I drove away from our home — and from him — in tears. That which had seemed so complex before suddenly seemed so simple: I was deserting my son. For over six hours, I would not be able to nourish him, rock with him, comfort him, sing to him, dance with him, walk with him, read to him, play with him, smile at him, laugh with him. I would not touch his square, little toes or the “Finn-folds” in his chubby legs. And I would not cry with him, either, for while he cried on the shoulder of my sister or mother-in-law, I snuck out the door in shame and cried behind the wheel of my car.
The hours passed, and I called home in between classes, pumped milk in a dark and lonely room, and left my desk a mess to race home as soon as I could. I pounded carelessly over the speedbumps in my neighborhood while my heart pounded inside my chest. When I walked in, all was, of course, fine. He smiled at me with joy but no surprise, as if I had just returned from the other room. Had he even noticed how long I was gone?
I had — and it was not time I could get back.
Finn at 14 weeks