Sara: In less than a week, I’ll head back to work from my leave. This week, I’ve been alternating between being excited to go back and begin a new set of challenges and heartbroken at the thought of being away from Gus for so long.
We’ve worked hard at prepping Gus for the separation – including Justin teaching him how to drink breast milk from a bottle and trying to get him on a more regular sleep schedule.
Justin: I wasn’t expecting it, but feeding Gus has been one of the most profound experiences of fatherhood thus far.
So what makes it so profound?
It’s the look in Gus’s eyes. Never before has anyone looked at me with such a penetrating gaze of absolute trust. In his eyes you can see dependence, but also peace flowing from a sure knowledge that he will receive only goodness and kindness.
As I have reflected on his gaze, it has struck me that it is with this same gaze with which we should look upon God, knowing we are completely dependent upon him. But it also is a gaze without fear; knowing dependence on God does not make us vulnerable because God is the perfect goodness! As such, we need not fear, but will find security by trusting in Him to provide for our needs as Gus trusts Sara and me to take care of his needs.
Sara: Although we have an amazing in-home daycare provider whom I’ve known for years, the idea of not being with Gus each and every day is very difficult. I love seeing his smiles and all of his “firsts” – rolling over, picking up his favorite toy, and more. It will be hard not to have him snuggle in my arms following a feeding, or “talk” to me about his day. I think going back to work will be harder on me than on Gus!
Logically, I know that letting go and trusting in God is a vital part of parenthood. Gus will have so many bittersweet milestones. He’ll go to kindergarten, receive First Communion, start junior high school, and one day commit to his vocation. With each step, I have to trust in God to protect and guide him. However, illogically, I just want to keep him all for ourselves and not have to let go as I like the current status quo. I know that’s not possible, and am simply trying to treasure every smile, every cuddle, and even every diaper change until it’s time for me to head back to work.