You know how when you are in the thick of a season of life you can't really tell if the minutes are crawling by or if you blinked it would feel like you were right back at the beginning? I often can never express adequately how time feels when I am right smack in the middle of it all.
In many ways it feels like hours ago that I was walking around like an overstuffed penguin hoping to be rid of my extra baggage as the summer heat started to ignite. That last day of pregnancy the boys joined me in the basement for some prenatal exercises in hopes to bring on a baby and sure enough just a few hours later our squats and lunges paid off. I can vividly and painfully remember every single contraction in those short 2 hours before we met our 3rd son and often I still lay on my back in bed wishing I wasn't pregnant so I could roll to my stomach....one day soon it'll hit me that I am actually not pregnant anymore but after 3 straight years it's just sort of what I know.
So it shocked me when I went to put a date on our calendar for September? How is the peace of the fall season just around the corner already? We LOVE the fall around here....it's our anniversary season, a time when the doors are always open, and Saturday's remind me much of my child hood with the smell of fresh grass wafting through the house while Larry Munson (tear tear) commentates on our families favorite team. I can already feel the calm that the fall usually brings even with three boys running circles through the house. Yet I just bought my first pair of summer sandals and I just cleaned up from our 3 May birthdays??? Why does experiencing life through the eyes of children make time seem to soar by?
But then it also feels like years ago that our sweet baby was waking every 3 hours to eat at night and sadly, I don't even remember those middle of the night feedings and they happen to be some of my most treasured newborn moments. There were weeks in the wee wee beginning that Bradford didn't open his eyes but for a total of 15 minutes all day and now we get to soak up the gummiest, hammiest, goofiest little smiles for about 30 minutes every 3rd hour of the day and he doesn't even care to wake us at night. I remember wondering if he would ever really wake up and then worrying that maybe something was wrong. Many of those first days felt like decades as we waited patiently to get to know our new little baby. I heard a friend say last night to an expecting mother that if anything feels like it's forever with a newborn it's usually only about 7 days. That couldn't be more true. As soon as you think you have figured something out about the new little one - the pattern changes and you can hardly remember what was so exhausting just days before. But - during those hours with a crying baby or a baby that doesn't seem to wake up the minutes seem to just inch by one by one.
Today our baby is 8 weeks old. I guess by most he is still considered a newborn but much of his newborn traits have disappeared. He sleeps and sleeps so well that I catch myself throughout the day thinking "this is too easy....when is the payback coming?" He is pretty predictable but he doesn't get upset if I'm not. I think we have heard him cry 3 times in his 8 weeks and none of the episodes lasted longer than 3 minutes. He is the prize possession in our home. The big boys like to boastfully announce to the whole house or store or restaurant anytime the baby's eyes open or he he so even makes a peep or if he starts to open his mouth for a cry or if he needs milk and so on. The boys don't let him get away with even an ounce of joy or rage without excitedly commentating his every move. After I first feed the baby in the morning we all gather on our bed and watch Bradford as he giggles and smiles like he was sent here on earth to do just that. How can you start a day off in a foul mood after a morning like that? I'll say it again as I've said on here before- there is nothing as sweet as sibling love.
While I am certainly relieved to have those first few weeks behind us I do hope the next 8 weeks do not feel as quick. We do more and more each day that assures me that life does carry on and we all do adjust and in a way - I'm not ready for that. I like the closeness our family feels after a new member has joined. I like being on lock down and having sweet friends bring us meals. I like the calls and emails and pop-in visits and I love the help offered to a family with a newborn. It's like we are all starting over together.....learning to get back out into the world as a team. This week we (meaning me and the three babes) hit the trails for our first run and while I felt so empowered I also mourned that time had moved on and I no longer have any "I just had a baby" pass cards left. We also conquered the post office, the grocery store, Costco, and a preschool visit altogether. 8 weeks ago or even 2 weeks ago I would have bet against me or any crazy mom of 3 doing any of the above. Moms you can relate - most of the fun of mastering these seemingly usual tasks is the kudos you get from most of the rest of the sane world. I'll take the encouragement any way I can get it...even if I get in the car and cry after completing such tasks.
I read an article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about stay at home mom's on the go who are always trying to squeeze a workout in to their day even in the most humorous ways - jogging to the store or doing yoga in a park. The article said that these moms are labeled "crazy happy." How perfectly fitting. I'll take crazy happy any day over many of the labels I would have given myself over the years when things weren't quite as hectic. Bring on the next happily crazy 8 weeks ....though hopefully at a little slower pace.
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