Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A funny thing happened

Some of you know how much I've been pining for another baby the last few years. To say that it's been on my mind a lot is a huge understatement. I could go into a whole series of posts about this issue, but I won't. Basically, I wanted another baby and A didn't. Well, he liked the idea of it, but the logistics didn't work out for him (i.e., he feels too old, our house is too small, it would be too much money, etc.). And, I prayed and prayed about it, and cried and cried and cried. For three years.

And, then something happened a few weeks ago. I realized that I love my life the way it is, that we've reached a point in R's life where we can do so much more as a family, and we're having so much fun. Life seems SO much easier.

When I prayed about another baby many, many times, I always asked God to either make it possible for us (i.e., change A's mind) or to take away the longing from me. Of course, I wanted the former. But I got the latter.

That makes me a little sad and a little mad at God, I admit. But at the same time, I know that He knows best. And, I'm secretly wondering if R is going to be a complete handful in a few years, where A and I will need to devote all our energy and selves to parenting him. Who knows? Maybe we couldn't have handled two kiddos. Maybe there's some reason we need to do a really good job raising this one child.

I'm sure the longing that's left me for now will come back from time to time. Over the past week, I've been sorting and washing and folding and bagging up all of R's baby and toddler clothes. They're taking up space in his closet for no reason. And, he wants to use his closet to make a fort. So, I'm giving away almost everything that I've been saving. It has been hard. I thought for sure I would be using all of these things again. But I saved a few of my favorite baby clothes and stashed them away in my hope chest. Maybe for a grandbaby one day?

But, yesterday, when I threw in the first load of baby clothes into the dryer, I had my first moment where I thought, "Wow, I'm glad I don't have to do this anymore." I started the dryer and walked away, only to stop at the bottom of the basement stairs because I heard a horrible noise. It sounded like a bag of rocks was flying around inside the dryer. I went back to check. Nope. Everything looked okay. I started the dryer up again and heard the same noise. Then I realized it was the sound of all those zillions of snaps on all the baby clothes hitting against the drum of the dryer.

I do not miss that awful sound, and I do not miss snapping those snaps.

I think I'm moving on.

Monday, July 13, 2009


We've been so busy this summer, which is pretty unusual for us. But we're having a blast, seeing lots of friends, making little day trips, etc.

In the midst of all the activity, I've noticed a big change in R - one that had been promised to us for years, but we're finally just seeing it now.

Until this point, R has always been very mommy-centered. I was the only one who could comfort him when he was hurt or sad, the only one who could soothe his middle-of-the-night wakings and freak-outs. He only wanted me to read bedtime stories - if it was Daddy's turn, R would cry and beg that we switch. We went through a few phases where R actually told A to "Go away!" when I was around so he could have me to himself. If I was at work, R was fine, but if I was around, poor A was chopped liver.

This situation was really hard on both A and me. A tried not to be hurt by it, but he was, especially because he spends a lot of time with R - he's been the one who was home with R on days when R didn't go to school/daycare. A is a wonderful father, and the rejection hurt.

And, having all that neediness on me alone was no fun either. I love the close relationship that R and I have always had, but it can be exhausting, too.

People kept telling us it was going to switch, that R would start favoring A. Of course, we were told that would happen around age 2. Ha ha.

Well, it finally has started (at age 5). Not so much that R favors A, but that he prefers him for some activities AND he treasures his time alone with A now. I think it started when R's fascination with fishing began. But R and A also have their model rocket interest, plus wrestling and tree-climbing and doing traditional boy stuff. Not that I don't also do these things with them - and enjoy a lot of them - but I think R has figured out that these are primarily Daddy things. And, I think that's wonderful.

A few weeks ago, when we were on our way to visit my dad and take R fishing, we stopped at a convenience store. A was going to run in by himself really quick, but then R decided he wanted to go, too, so we all hopped out of the car. That's when I was informed by R that he wanted some private time with Daddy. That was the first time R ever said that, and I was floored. And relieved! So, I got to sit in the car and check my email and think about how much R is changing while my boys shopped.

When A and R came out of the store, R came to my door, opened it, and silently handed me a package of Reese's peanut butter cups (my favorite), while smiling sweetly. Then he climbed into his seat. After we were settled, A informed me that the peanut butter cups were completely R's idea. I nearly cried. Here, my little guy is spending more time with his dad and appreciating him more (yay!), but he's still thinking of me while he's doing it.

I couldn't ask for more.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


From reading some of my favorite blogs, it seems like a lot of people are having a great summer - and so are we!

We've been really busy. For the last week, A's sister and her fiance have been visiting from CA. We get along great with them and have been having a lot of fun. Tonight, on our way to drop them at the airport, we took a few minutes to check out some of the Tall Ships that are in Boston for the next few days. We watched tug boats maneuvering one ship from Chad in, and another one from Russia. As we stood on the pier, one of the tugs came right up to us, and the captain yelled out and asked us if we were from one of the fishing towns on the North Shore of Massachusetts (which was weird because we had just visited one of the towns over the weekend). Then, a big, burly sailor came out on deck and said to R, "Someone told me that you like popsicles" and tossed up two popsicles to us. It was so nice! Then the captain came out and said that if security wasn't so strict because of the Tall Ships, he would let R come on board.

The skies opened up at that point, along with a lot of scary lightning, so we high-tailed it back to our car. We found out that A's sister's flight was delayed significantly, so we decided to have dinner at the nice restaurant right on the pier so we could keep watching the ships come in.

Over the weekend, we went to our friends' house for a huge 4th of July BBQ that was also the birthday party for their one-year-old twins. It was a gorgeous day - after weeks of rain and gloom. We saw so many friends that we haven't seen in ages. It was really nice. Then we headed into Cambridge to meet up with A's sister and her fiance. They were staying in a hotel very close to the Charles River, so we grabbed them and walked down to the river to listen to the Boston Pops concert and to watch the Boston fireworks. It was AMAZING. This was R's first Boston fireworks experience, and he was blown away. It was a little rough because the fireworks didn't start until 10:30, so he was up WAY past his bedtime, but he held out for the whole thing and didn't fall asleep until 12:30 am in the car on the way home.

It was so incredible being there with hundreds of thousands of people, singing patriotic songs (and Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" - a tradition at Red Sox games), dancing, and then clapping and screaming and sighing over the fireworks. A and I had been to the "show" before, but we had always watched from the Boston side of the river. We discovered that the Cambridge side is the place to be -- not only did we get a perfect, clear view of the fireworks, but they were against the beautiful Boston skyline. I don't think I can ever watch them on TV again. It's just not the same.

On Sunday, we had no plans, so we headed up to Gloucester and spent the afternoon exploring the beach. R and I were in heaven - we found tons of little, tiny crabs and snails in all the tidepools. We looked for shells and sea glass. When we finally pried R away from the beach, we found a seaside shack that sold ice cream. We each got a cone and sat on the beach wall and watched the waves while the ice cream dripped all over us (well, mostly all over R). I've decided to add Gloucester to the list of towns we'd like to live in someday when we win the lottery. :-)

So far, despite the long stretches of wet, chilly weather, we've had a wonderful summer. I know it's going to go by fast, but at least we'll have made the best of it!