I can’t believe that 4 weeks, 20 work days, have already come and gone. In the beginning, time felt like it was nearly standing still. The past week went by in what felt like the blink of an eye.
When I started the last 4 weeks of paternity leave, I really had no idea what to expect. While I knew it wasn’t going to be a vacation, I didn’t know just how hard and tiring it would be. I was certain Fitz and I would be out on some form of adventure everyday. In fact I had joked with Cassie that while she was at work we would be hanging out at the coffee shop. Well guess what, we never made it to the coffee shop.
The daily routine of diapers, feeding, playing, napping and then starting the cycle over again wears you out quicker than you can imagine. There is no time in the day, and you also must plan your day somewhat according to his schedule, not yours. But at the same time, this time off has been the most rewarding experience I’ve had. I’ve seen Fitz go through some of the tiniest but most monumental milestones. He’s learned to roll every which way and use it as his mode of transportation, he discovered his feet and toes, nearly holds a bottle on his own, tries to hold a conversation in gibberish, and he is so close to sitting up on his own! We’ve enjoyed plenty of time outside together running our neighborhood and local trail, we visited the dentist, doctor, chiropractor, and we even ventured out in to the large crowd at the Sportsman Show in Puyallup.
If I’ve learned anything over these past 4 weeks, it’s patience. Fitz is young and moldable now. He can’t communicate with me aside from crying but knows how to respond to my actions. Even at this young age it’s up to me to be a positive influence on him. I am tasked with the job of dissecting each tone and figuring out what he needs and staying cool under the pressure of a 4 month old. I’m the one responsible for teaching him how to handle himself. As of now, we are only on the tip of the iceberg with years to go, that will go even quicker as I watch my little boy grow up to be a young man.
These past 4 weeks would have never happened without my employer. Thank you Ted, Dave, Kaj, and Josh for wanting to provide this wonderful benefit. The four of you have created an amazing culture at EXPED USA, and hopefully are helping set the bar for other businesses, no matter the size around the country. The importance that this time meant not only to Fitz, but also to Cassie and I is invaluable.
Tomorrow, Cassie is tasked with dropping Fitz off for his first day at daycare. I can’t imagine what that is going to feel like for her. I do know it was hard for her to go back to her first day of work and leave him with me, but leaving him with someone whom we trust, yet is a stranger is going to be even harder I’m sure. Fitz will be in good hands though, he will make new friends and continue to learn valuable skills as he interacts with other kids daily.
The past 4 weeks are gone. I’ve provided Fitz with endless love and care. I’ve learned his ways, and started to teach him ours. These were precious weeks that I wouldn’t give up for anything and am extremely grateful that the opportunity was provided.
Over and out,