Sunday, May 22, 2011

Strawberries, Old Times, and New Challenges

A good friend and I took the boyos strawberry picking today while brown baby hung out with her daddy. (I use the term 'hung out' loosely because the report is she cried a lot while we were gone.) Baby Diva strikes again!

It did me good to get out with just my boys. I haven't been able to do something with just them since before she was born, and lately I've felt like I can't really given enough of myself to anyone. Maybe that's not accurate. I have to give so much of myself to brown baby that I feel like there is nothing left to give to others. And after having nine years with the boys to myself, it feels off to have spent so little time with them other than doing homework, which is more akin to torture in my book. And probably theirs too.

It was nice to enjoy the boys through the lens of fun. Rather than constantly shushing them (because let's face it, they don't know how to be quiet), we spoke freely and laughed loudly. We pointed out mutant strawberries and oohed and aahed over the perfectly shaped ones. I had time to focus on just them instead of dealing with the noise they make or listening to their endless retellings of the latest cartoon they watched.

I realized that I have to make time like this with them even though it is hard right now. Because I know they are growing fast, and for a moment, they seemed a little smaller in the vast expanse of red berries. They forgot to fight with each other and forgot how to exercise their obnoxious elementary school senses of humor. I miss moments like these.

The challenges that come with a new baby are something you can anticipate, but never fully understand until immersed in dirty diapers and sleep deprivation. And despite having done this twice before, I still wasn't ready for how it would change this time. Being stretched very thin with brown baby is a normal thing. Feeling overwhelmed with the lack of structure is definitely taking its toll, but spending time and checking in with my boys and enjoying them, just them, is crucial to my happiness.

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