Saturday, May 03, 2008

saturday::scanned photo

Just a few this week... I do love spending time looking at these photos for the first time in probably 5-7 years (or more, for the college ones). Sometimes, when you're sleep deprived, and stressed, it's good to touch base and remember the little things along the way and *try* to see the big picture. I become so myopic, so task oriented in the hub-bub of day to day life, which largely is also so free of noteworthiness--it all blurs. Wake up early, nurse baby, give 2 yr old sippy cup, make coffee, continue to nurse, drink coffee, make breakfast, clean up, help 5 yr old with homework and getting ready for school, take her and 2 other to drop off, run an errand or go straight home and have lunch, nurse more, boys hopefully take naps so they'll not be cranky in the evening, wake them, back to school for pickup, go to park, to an errand, or home, make snacks, nurse baby, maybe go outside for a while, make dinner, lots of little bits of laundry and tidying (never enough to be totally clean, but to stave off bad messiness), get kids to eat dinner, clean up after dinner, nurse baby, get kids a bath some nights, get them to bed every night, nurse baby. Sure there are the days we go on excursions, and the summer is a time for lots of those, but what I wrote above is pretty much a constant.

I genuinely enjoy it (most of the time once I have my coffee), mundane as it sounds all written out -- there are those moments when I get to color with Carter all alone, or play with him with his trains, or craft with Bunny, or hang out talking with her before bedtime (our only real alone time together, save the baby on my lap). There are the times when I look at the serenity on Cole's face while he sleeps, or the great big grins and chuckles he does and my heart nearly bursts. There are the times when I see the mirth in Carter's eyes, or the flash of gusto Bunny can have, and they amaze me, and make the relentless work all worth it. I love how Carter is finally speaking more, and telling me things, and I can't wait until he can really talk to us, just like Bunny does (old joke about wanting kids to be quiet once they talk notwithstanding). I see how *quickly* Cole is growing, and I am trying so hard to remember all the way that this is my last baby. That yes, I am very tired, but I will never have the gift of being able to wake to nurse a baby at 5 a.m. More than our older 2 children, I have been doing as much as I possibly can in caring for Cole all myself, I suppose because I am getting better at it along the way, but also because I want to do it. It's fleeting and while I will certainly change a diaper again, perhaps for a baby niece or nephew, eventually I will even miss stinky diapers. Parenting is relentless! Usually while I am going one thing for someone, I'm asked to do 2-4 more things before I finish what I am doing.

So, by the end of the day, I am tired. And cranky. I should repeat that -- CRANKY. I almost never get to shower two days in a row. I forget to eat, even though I am giving someone else food 2 times or more any given hour, then I eat crappy stuff because I am way too hungry once I remember to eat and I don't care what I eat by that point. I drink too much coffee. It's hard. But it's fleeting. The saying may be trite, but it is true: The days, and sometimes seconds creep by so slowly, but the years FLY. Like everyone I sometimes need very badly to vent, but just like someone who vents about their coworker doesn't actually hate them, or their job, I am not hating my life when I complain about something... I think it's hard for my husband to understand that one. It's doubly hard, since if I vent to him, he takes it personally. So I try to vent more to my mom friends. They get it. They know. It's not hatred of my life. It's letting off steam. It's that yes, it's okay to not like that I have not gone to the bathroom alone for 6 years. It's acceptable to lose your mind a little when someone has been sinking "eee-eye-eee-eye-oh" in an endless loop for 15 minutes straight! I'm human, just like everyone else. I say things I didn't think out before I uttered them. I become frustrated. Again, this is normal. Maybe very normal when you have a 6 year old, a 2 year old, and a 3 month old. And when the only times you have gone anywhere alone in the past 6+ months have been to the grocery store--and that, a total of less than once a month.

But still, it is fleeting. I do try to remember that. With mixed results, depending on the day and how everyone else is doing that day. I'm not master of my mood--I wish I could wake in a good mood and stay that way, but it's a dynamic organism, a family of 5 is. If someone else is having a terrible day, it sometimes spreads. Some good days I'm impervious and can make light of a child in a snit, and that makes them happier in return. Some days I am just matter of fact and doing my job. Some days I am a walking, talking nightmare of crankiness. I'm getting better at accepting that, and telling Bunny and Carter--and Paul-- that.

But anyway, the photo? The beach where Paul tried to propose to me. It was SO cold that evening we ended up going to the car to watch the sunset, and he proposed in there. It was still lovely anyway. We went out to dinner at L'escargot in Carmel afterwards, and that was divine, too.

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