Saturday, March 9, 2013

Old Amy vs. New Amy

I can't remember the last time I wrote a post that included only words, no pictures.  It used to happen all the time, when I used the blog to make note of stories about the kids that I wanted to remember.  Now that I use Facebook for those memories, the blog content has, let's just say, suffered.

During the wee hours of this morning, though, I spent some time in thought about ways that I have changed over the past 3 months.  And I wanted to share just a blip of that "story" here, so that someday my kids will be able to read about how much these months have meant to me.

My small readership (can I even use that word?) likely knows by now that I quit my job at the end of November.  I won't use this venue to get into the reasons behind that decision, other than to say that I came to the realization that what I was getting out of my job, professionally, wasn't coming close to stacking up to what I was missing out on, personally.  Over the past 7 years as a working mom, I had (almost) always found myself in a place of personal and professional happiness.  My career was advancing, I loved the people with whom I worked, and I didn't feel as though I was short-changing my kids.  So a working mom I was.

Over the past year, though, I saw both my job and my perspective change to the point where I, with Dale's full support, felt I needed to make a choice.  We chose our family.  And now, 3 months later, I can honestly say that there hasn't been a single second out of those approximately 8,535,600 where I second-guessed our decision.

But, back to this morning and the reason for this post in the first place.  Macie had stayed home on Friday with a fever, and, since we kept it under control during the day with medicine, I was interested to see how the night would go.

I got the answer at 4:00a, when Macie tapped my shoulder and told me she was cold.   While walking her back to her room and preparing to tuck her in with an extra blanket, I noticed she had the shivers; the kind you can't get to stop, no matter how many blankets you use.

Reflecting on this moment 30 minutes later, I realized that this point was a crystal clear example of the life change I have undergone.  "Old Amy", as Dale jokingly refers to my working-at-UNC days, would have tucked Macie in snugly and sat on the side of her bed for a few minutes to calm her down and try to get her back to sleep.  Then she would have, as quickly as possible, hustled back to bed for much-needed sleep after a long and likely-stressful work week.  But "New Amy", the calmer and (I think as a result) kinder version, decided that what Macie really needed was some snuggles and hand-holding.  So I tip-toed back to my room, grabbed my pillow, and told Macie that I was going to sleep the rest of the night with her.  It was obviously not what she expected, and, as a result, she wasn't entirely convinced.  She looked at me incredulously and, in her sweet, sick, shaky voice asked, "The WHOLE NIGHT, Mama?!?"  With my affirmative response, it was as if all immediately became right in her world.

It took her about 10 minutes to calm down enough for the shivering to stop.  I spent that time with my arm wrapped around her, holding her sweet little hands in mine, listening to her breathing become more regular, and knowing there was no place I would rather be.

"They" say that I will miss this, and that I'm going to want this time back.  After these past 3 months, I'm actually starting to believe it. 


Stacy W. said...

I love all versions of Amy, but I greatly admire the courage new Amy had to change directions for her family! Wonder what new Amy would think of my dishwasher loading skills....

Trish said...

You have my head spinning right now as I think about my own situation, Amy. Give me 2-3 years and I/my fam will (hopefully!) be following in your/Herman Nation foot steps!!!