Monday, March 16, 2009

small things and big deals

I am emerging from the "What day is it, again?" fog that falls over the days just following giving birth. Things have settled down a bit from the initial excitement (not that we're not still excited...) and craze and we're setting about getting to know each other. We get to know the little details about ourselves we did not know before -- things like when is the best time to change a diaper and how Israel can not feel powerless when Eden cries and what words are best for Pat and I to use when there is not space for discussion "away" from the situation. Of course, most of this revolves around Eden, who has discovered about herself that she can, indeed, scream. Thankfully, she limits herself to 1-3 loud screams at a time (cranking it to 11 rather suddenly and diminishing almost as fast) and only when she's being taught how to put herself to sleep for the most part. Israel no longer insists on touching her every moment of the day and, for my part, I'm glad that aspect of her novelty has worn off; he is an aggressive lover. He also sleeps straight through her "I'm waking up...waking FOOD!" in the middle of the night. I'm grateful for that as well. I just was able to put both kiddos down for a nap and the house is quiet. I've not gone insane yet and am catching up on sleep. (Don't look at me, though. It's nearly 1:00 and I'm still in my PJ's.) I'm starting to get a feel for how things may go once my mom leaves and it's just the four of us here (or the three of us during the day). It involves the house looking abandoned in the short-term, I think, and me putting my multi-tasking skills to work during all waking hours.

I am strangely anxious to do more as a family now that we are four. Perhaps it's because I'm from a family of four that now we feel more like an official family or maybe it's because we now constitute full vehicle all on our own. Regardless, I am finding myself a bit excited about the challenges of doing small things together -- going grocery shopping, to the park, etc. We went on a little trip to the park down the street yesterday to take advantage of the nice weather. The three adults took turns with Israel, Eden, and the dog. A good time was had by all, I think...especially Israel and the dog, who is contentedly napping on the floor for the first time in weeks.

When I was a kid, I remember something like going to the park being a BIG deal. Not that we were deprived of outdoor activity the rest of our days, but a day involving the park was quite a treat. I watched Israel running around the equipment yesterday and Eden taking in the sunlight and the light breeze and thought about what a big place the little park must seem to them and how different and special it is compared to the strip of grass we call our back yard. Being there is no small thing for me, too, now that I'm somewhat in charge of the whole activity. It takes arranging of naps and packing of all kinds of diapers and blankets and a drink and...well..those of you who take care of kids know. But when I get outside and feel the sun on my clothes and see my kids enjoying themselves, it's a big deal -- for them and for me.

I can feel that I'm getting in a little over my head in some ways, bringing this little girl home. But I can also feel that things like both kids going down easily for their naps and a warm shower in the middle of the day and successfully leaving the house and being outside for an hour or so can become great gifts, not unlike breathing through your nose. (...Which I have been able to do since Eden has stopped sharing my body. Woo hoo!) God has certainly done more for me than I would've asked already. But I think that being thankful and content with small, normal things is both an art and a discipline I should not lose sight of as I start down this new road of parenting. Being able to do normal things is, on its own, a big deal. Thank you, God!


Marissa said...

Hey Leslie! It's Marissa (Kravetz)! Surely you remember me from High School... it's only been 10 years! Don't you feel old? Anyway, I found your blog through Kasey so I hope you don't mind if I follow along. What a sweet family you have!! I have a blog too-

Marissa said...

Ok, now that I've actually had a chance to sit down and read something... I really enjoyed this post! You write so eloquently. And since I am kind of in the same place you are (new baby in the house with one older one) I can SO relate to everything you said.