And now it’s back to business

Spending a year with a new baby leads to a change in perspective

After a year of maternity leave, I’m back, Langley.

The last time I was reporting, I was eight months pregnant, covering Township’s marathon public hearings on the Bedford Landing hotel site and the then-proposed multi-tower project at 200 Street and 64 Avenue.

I was the size of a house and I had to sit in a special padded seat (thank you Township staff) just to get my sore hips and back through the three-hour meetings. At the time, council was at odds with then mayor Rick Green, and verbal jabs were practically part of the evening’s agenda.

Then on Jan. 29, 2011, my beautiful, nine pound, eight ounce boy Chase was born. As I held my son for the first time, all thoughts of Langley school district’s huge deficit, Township taxes, failing court systems and the ever-changing media world, disappeared. For an entire year, my world has been consumed — blissfully I might add — by this chubby cherub’s every move. From watching him grab his toes for the first time, to enjoying his first laugh and crawl — this year has been the greatest gift.

Even through colic, when he would cry all night for months, I still loved being his mom.

His sweet breath would calm, his eyes closed and that baby smell would envelop me, and my heart would grow again. So what I’m saying is I’m back but I’ve changed. I still have a passion for people and animals who have been wronged and I still get fired up about the broken justice system, but I’m a bit more mushy.

When I left, I was in the thick of pre-election hostility at Township council. Now, it seems, I’ve been thrown from the frying pan to the fire, covering the current turmoil at the Langley Board of Education table, which appears to have a deep divide in its philosophy about what and who is best for the school district.

Although it’s important to hold government bodies accountable for their actions or inactions, my focus, I hope, and through readers’ help, will be on students who overcome the odds or are quietly (or not so quietly) taking on the world, or with parents whose children can’t find help in the system.

A lot has changed since I’ve been gone (and yet, so much stays the same, including the construction along Fraser Highway, near the airport). I will now be slinging a camera over my shoulder wherever I go, capturing Langley’s amazing moments both on video and pictures.

But as I do my best to find my way around a pen and paper again, forgive me for the occasional baby brain.

And while we are at it, ignore the diaper cream in my hair, baby food on my shoulder and bags so big under my eyes, you wonder where I’m taking that luggage. It’s all part and parcel of the new me.

I keep telling myself that millions of moms have gone back to work and survived, and so have their children. But, I’m not sure that makes it any easier.

One week into daycare and my son spent his first birthday throwing up, courtesy of a stomach bug he caught at his new daycare. I’m sure it gets better with time, just as my baby brain will.