Saturday, August 30, 2014

For Arlo

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use, 
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

                                                                                    - T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Dear Arlo,

We've learned a lot together, you and I.  These past 4.5 years of cultivating each other's lives have entertained a tangled yarn ball of every emotion I've ever experienced, multiplied by 8.  At times, I've felt I have been the ultimate warrior in shaping your identity.  But more often, I have felt ( and still do) the fool.

Apparently that's what parenting is. Feeling, more often than not, that you really have no clue what you're doing, but doing it anyway.

As I  head back into the workforce next week for the first time since the doctor wrestled you from my very oversized belly, I want you to know and fully understand how much the time I've spent at home with you has changed me. I am more of a fool than I was before, no doubt. Each year of being a parent makes me feel more and more confused.  But I am also much more comfortable being a fool... meaning that I now possess the confidence to laugh at myself, which I didn't have before you were here.  My confidence is the direct result of having you in my life. Your laughs, your screams, sleepless nights, power struggles, even your knock-knock jokes... everything you've ever done or experienced has been incredible, one way or another, and has significantly enhanced my life.

This next phase in our mother/son saga will be different. Not bad, just different. We'll both need to adjust to my work/life balance, and while I am obviously sad to be leaving this part of my life behind, I am truly excited to see how our relationship grows in other ways. I truly enjoy seeing you get older. I don't know many parents who say this, but I do. Your personality is unlike any other I've known. I love hearing you talk about dinosaurs and Canada and trains. I love watching you evolve as my determined, caring, dramatic,intelligent and quirky little man.

Mommy loves you more than anything else in the world, Arlo. Always.