Sterling turned two years old today. I was worried I would have a breakdown like I did last year. After I wrote that post a year ago, I crawled into bed and just sobbed. Jeremy asked me what was wrong and I don't remember exactly what I said, except that I kept remembering being in labor and that it just hurt so much. They say women forget the pain of childbirth, and we do, but also, we don't. Not ever.
And it wasn't just me working through the memories of the physical trauma of giving birth. Last year, from about the year anniversary of when I was denied boarding on an Emirates flight home, up until Sterling's birthday, I was on edge remembering all the emotional stress and difficulties I'd been through on the way to Sterling being born. Each day brought with it memories of what I'd been doing exactly one year before, and they were not always happy thoughts.
Then I had a good cry on his first birthday and poof! Those overwhelming feelings seem to have worked through themselves and I feel like a normal person enjoying my son's birthday today. Hooray! I've also been thinking about how my relationship with him has changed since going back to work full-time.
For Sterling's entire life before I left the US ahead of the family to come to Finland last month, he was attached to me. Especially in new situations, but also just anytime, he wanted Mama. I went back to work part-time when he was one and it took many months before he didn't cry when I left the house, even though I was leaving him with a babysitter who he loved.
When I was separated from him for two weeks in August, he transferred all of that to Jeremy. When I saw him again, he would let me hold him, but he made it clear he preferred Dad. Even if I was in the room, when Jeremy left, Sterling cried. It was shocking to me, and inspired mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was sad to not be his favorite anymore.
But on the other hand, I was relieved to not be his favorite anymore. It made being at work full-time that much easier - to know that he was happy and cosy with Jeremy and not waiting for me to come home every second of the day.
It's been wonderful and, quite frankly, awe-inspiring to see his new, close relationship with Jeremy.
In recent days, Sterling has started asking for me more and sometimes (very occasionally) preferring me over Jeremy. But I'm happy that Sterling and Jeremy can be such buds. It fits our new life situation well.