I missed my first baby thing yesterday, on my second day back to work. It wasn’t a big thing: he reached out, unfurled his hand, and grabbed an owl toy with a tinkling bell hidden inside. But it was something, an assertion of agency beyond a smile for like and a cry for dislike.
Then, when work was done, and I began my caretaking shift, he cried as my wife returned him to my arms. Had I lost it? Parenting is a confidence job perpetrated on the self. One cannot lose one’s nerve. My connection to my son, earned over the endless hours of two months, dropped in a day.
But mercifully, his crying stopped as I bounced, and my anxiety waned.
I remain a little melancholy. This milestone is the first of many I won’t see. I’ve gotta work. And work is time away from the kid, even if I have the privilege of mostly laboring from home at a job I love.
Read more. [Image: Alexis Madrigal]