So I’ve said it. It’s been hard.
But, of course, it’s also been lovely.
There are always moments, while raising these humans, that are beautiful. Even in the midst of the hard. And actually, when it’s hard, that’s when I look for those moments more. This is when I start working to create/notice/live in the small moments that melt the rest away.
This is when I create things like the express trip to the park.
It takes about 15 minutes of round trip travel to get to the park. That means that if we have a half hour before bedtime/breakfast/I got to work, then we can squeeze in ten minutes at the park.
We end up there at these strange off-peak times, like at 8am when everyone else is probably just working their way towards cereal. Off-peak times means that my big girl gets to do what she loves to do most this summer. Swing in the baby swing.
I know this is her reacting to the attention that her brother sometimes gets that feels disproportionately larger than the attention she gets. I know this is her working through, in her own way, the upheaval we’ve had in our lives recently and the upheaval of her own development. She is almost four. She can get on that big kid swing all by herself and pump her legs towards the sky, if she wants to. She can feed herself, dress herself… she is all over self-sufficiency. And most of the time, she loves that. But sometimes, we all want to go back, don’t we? To when our mamas took care of us and did the work for us. To when we needed everything and Mama provided it all. Sometimes we just want to be pushed on the swing. So I indulge her. Because in a few weeks, she’ll be back at school, the land of big kid swings and big kid bikes and big kid everything. So we have our rule. As long as there are no other little ones around, she can go on the baby swing. And sister keeps her eyes peeled with every step closer to the park. “Mama! There are no little ones here!”
This is also when I go through the 10-minute process of blanket-setting, food moving, plate wrangling for a 5-minute picnic lunch before nap.
Weeks from now, it won’t matter that we really only sat out there for 5 minutes, barely finished our lunches, and, though the air was cool and the sun a perfect shade of warm, we retreated inside to escape the bugs and be a bit more comfy. It also won’t matter that we are not picnic pros – no basket, no appropriate outside dinnerware, I don’t think I even managed to bring a drink for myself. What will matter is that we had a picnic. Picnics are fun.
This is also when I try to remind myself that these baby legs are not a forever thing. Baby boy is crawling now. And by that I mean he motors around so fast that you’d think he’d been crawling for years and not weeks. Soon he’ll start cruising and walking and this glorious baby fat will melt away. So this is when I refuse to put shorts on him. Ever.
So yes, the hard is hard. But the lovely is so lovely.
Happy Friday. Have a lovely weekend.