Thursday, February 09, 2006

Are we there yet?

This winter feels so long. It’s probably because I didn’t have a winter last year. I find myself looking out the window, holding Joseph, looking at the snow and ice, hoping that it will warm up soon. But then I have to stop myself. I have to stop wishing time away. I know that this is a common problem for everyone. It surely is not profound by any means, but I think it really defines some of the difficulties of being a stay-at-home mom (or dad). I have completely contradictory feelings at the same time. I want time to stop and time to go. I’m utterly bored and absolutely amazed. I’m more depressed than ever as well as the happiest I’ve ever been. The days stretch out to no end while they are flying by. Book after block after ball, I’m just tired. I know that I would have it no other way.

Tony got me this wonderful book for Christmas (Waiting for Birdy by Catherine Newman). Catherine’s son Ben is three years old when his baby sister is born, and she chronicles her family’s life during this time. I think this excerpt explains a little of what I’m feeling:

“Is it always spring now?” Ben wondered.
I asked him if he could remember what came after spring.
“Summer!” he said. “Is summer about as big as a string cheese?”
“I don’t know,” I said. Is a string cheese big or small?”
“Kind of big and kind of small.” He moved his hands apart and then together to show me.
“Then yes,” I said. “That’s summer. Kind of big and kind of small.”

But my God – doesn’t that describe everything? Kind of big and kind of small. Time with a new baby. Childhood. And life itself.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My gosh, you've said it exactly - I remember all those feelings and, in different ways, still experience them now. And I love the way that Ben described it, in the cosmic way that little ones often have. Life really is like string cheese.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous guh! said...

oops, sorry, that was me - for some reason my moniker didn't 'take'.

12:18 PM  
Blogger jennifer said...

I was wondering.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous guh! said...

By the way, on the subject of kind of big and kind of small, I met a bilingual 3 year old in florida last week - his mom said he just realized last month that french and english are two different languages. He was amazed to learn the reason that his daddy doesn't always know what he is saying.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the 3 year old's mom didn't teach him to sign, because she thought that would confuse him! She said she would definitely try signing if she had another child. It's all string cheese.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous guh! said...

Drat, it happened again. Sorry.

2:53 PM  
Blogger TK said...

I have to admit, watching you last week was enlightening. I don't think I would enjoy being home everyday, all day. I've seen you get a little stir-crazy. But seeing how much you get out of being home (and watching my friends who have to miss their babies during the day), I can't imagine anything so wonderful. I came home feeling a little jealous, really. You have something so special. It really is a toss-up isn't it?

4:37 PM  
Anonymous guh! said...

Being home with a baby isn't always a choice, obviously. And I remember well that it can be stressful and boring, so I know it can feel like a toss up at the time. But I would give anything to have those early days at home with my kids back again, and for sure I don't have those same yearnings about any job.

8:25 AM  

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