Friday, September 10, 2010

The kindness (or not) of strangers...

Parenting is truly tested in airports and on airplanes. I embarked on my first trip to LA with lil Lu, alone for four hours. This is an open letter to the people I encountered along the way.....
(side note this is first time I've encountered less than amazing customer service from SW)

To the baggage ck guy at the curb. Could you not see a flustered, late, woman struggling with two strollers and a car seat?  Standing there with your arm out staring at me  does not indicate you are available to help me. Then basically shaking your head at me while taking my bag does not soothe a weary traveller. Hope you enjoyed your 1 buck tip. (hope my bag actually makes it to LA)

Thank you to the many passengers at the gate who offered up their seats as I tried to feed Lu a bottle standing up  There are still gentlemen in the world and people who make your baby laugh instead of scowling at you like you have the plague when traveling with an infant.

However, to the angry, cranky woman who was in such a hurry to board the plane she pushed passed me and a lovely  woman trying to help me collapse my stroller, I hope sitting in row ahead of me was worth it. Oh and I will call you out on your pushiness and no I was not "yelling" at you. What are we three?

Ms.  flight attendant in the front of the aircraft:  Please don't let me interrupt your book as I struggle to get out of the coffin sized bathroom with a child, a dirty diaper already sealed in a bag for you, and a diaper bag overflowing...really I'm fine. 

And to my seat mate in the boiler hat, sunglasses, and blaring iPod:  muttering under your breath that you can't wait until you're flying in a private jet after being asked to turn down your annoying music (by me) and to put your seat up for take off (by flight attendant) does not make you cool. It kinda makes you a pathetic loser who will join the ranks of 1 million wannabe "artists" the second you land in LA. Good luck with that. 

To my beautiful baby girl:  thank you for being such a happy, easy baby that just brings joy to everyone you smile at. You were awesome and I will travel anywhere and everywhere with you sweet one. We have many adventures ahead of us. I love you. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

FIrst Day of Pre-School

I can't believe that my baby boy is ready to start pre-school. Though it's a Time for Two's class at our church, it is still two days a week and we are calling it school. For the last month we have been talking about school, reading Llama Llama Misses Mama - the cutest book about a little Llama's first day of pre-school and how his Mama always comes back to get him, we got our back to school haircut complete with a "blue lolly" (every lolly is blue as far as Jack is concerned), all around have tried to prepare Jack for this change so it would be a positive transition and experience.

The big day came and Daddy took a later train so he could be here to see us off. There were pictures on the front porch in our new outfit and Thomas the Train backpack. There was a bit of excitement in the air as Jack kept repeating "school school". My biggest worry was dropping him off because we hadn't been going to church very faithfully this summer and it had been awhile since I had to drop Jack off and leave him. It was parent orientation day though, so I knew I be there at least for a little while.

As we walked through the building Jack was crying a little bit and saying "No! No school" the reality setting in a bit. Once we got in the classroom though Jack was surprisingly fine! Off he went to see the fish tank and then there was just one toy after another that caught his attention. He was happily playing within minutes. A big sigh of relief. I was so proud of him that he just jumped right in. All the parents sat down to listen to the main teacher go through the year and I kept watching him out of the corner of my eye. I watched as another boy came up and grabbed a toy from him, my heart just breaking because I couldn't intervene. Jack was fine and just found another train but when the same boy took that train from him too, Jack grabbed it back, inside I was thinking "Good for you!" until Jack got smacked right in the face. Immediately, his eyes searched for me and I lumbered over parents sitting crossed legged on the rug to scoop up Jack and comfort him. Within a minute he hugged me and scampered down to keep playing. Once the meeting was over, with him so happy and content, I backed out of the room with Lucy so I wouldn't upset him with a big good bye. Walking back to the office to chat with the director and give Lucy a bottle, I was full of mixed emotions.

Happy that Jack had adjusted perfectly and there were not too many tears, relieved I had been there for his first scuffle, and sad that I know there will be many times I will not be there to comfort him and wipe away his tears. Letting him go in this first big milestone is definitely going to be harder on Mommy than Jack.

So off I went to run to Costco. I was wandering so slowly trying to kill time - filling my cart. About 35 minutes into shopping I checked my phone and had a message from the pre-school. My heart dropped: "Just to let you know, all the other parents and children are gone and Jack is here all by himself. He is OK, but crying a bit and asking for Mama." WHAT?! I literally leave a full cart in the middle of Costco and I am running to my car with poor Lucy under my arm. Apparently, it was only optional to leave on Orientation day and ALL the other parents stayed and then left early with their kids. I was so upset! All the preparing, the Llama Llama book at least 30 times and Jack watched all other kids walk out the door with Mommy and I was no where to be found.

Of course he was just fine, having a snack with the teachers and not really wanting to leave when I came to get him, but I was devastated. I just couldn't get over feeling like I let him down, or screwed up. I couldn't figure out how I was the only one who didn't get the memo to stay.

I realized as the day went on and I had a chance to think about it: I will never be a perfect Mother. I will make mistakes, I will be late, I will have to leave him somewhere crying while he adjusts to new things, I will yell instead of calmly discipline, I will disappoint him - sometimes for his own good- sometimes for mine, things will happen that will forever lay heavy on my heart. I still live with the small scar on his face when our dog bit him when he was 8 months old. Some scars we'll see, others we'll both need to learn to cope with. Part of growing up is letting go - and I mean me not him. I'm so proud to have such a happy, outgoing big boy who will love school, but I am sad too as I watch my lil guy put his hat on backwards, ask for his back-pack, and head into his newest adventure.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The return

Well - as the the title of my blog states - many things are "worth waiting for" and hopefully my return to writing is one of them. The last year and half has been crazy and being a writer has taken the back burner to all the other things that I am. To quickly recap - the last post was about a respite trip to Aspen in preparation for IVF. Well - that cycle was successful and we now have a beautiful baby girl added to our family. It was a long year of fertility treatments, then a somewhat rocky pregnancy (horrible back pain, bleeding and a hospital stay) but then two weeks before Christmas of 09 -our miracle baby was born. (6 years after our first attempt to get pregnant - that was worth waiting for....) Most of 2010 has been spent marveling at our little family and transitioning to a house with two children 2 and under. Which leads me to my first post of this new cycle of blogging.

I'm been doing a lot of thinking lately as to what defines who we are. We wear many labels as we stumble through our days but if you had to pick one thing that described you, what would it be? This I know - I am a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, Mother (an adoptive mother as well if we're using labels), traveler, adventurer, runner (kind of), reader, scrapbooker (well not since 2006- but that was pre kids)- I suppose the list could go on, but once we are a Mother - most everything becomes second. Small little hands need ours to guide them, our hearts to love them, our minds to challenge them, our arms to hold them. Those are the big things, but it is obviously the little things all through my day that leave me with not much left once bedtime is done. What I have left I hope I am giving to my marriage and husband. I find throughout my day, I think of all the things I can accomplish once the kids are sleeping. And yet once they are sleeping - I am vegged in front of the TV unable to accomplish much.

I want something more for me. I think I will be a better Mother, wife etc... if I carve out some of my day doing something that nourishes my soul. All summer that was training for a triathlon. I didn't want to really - but signing up for something forced me to get out and take a few hours a week for myself. With the race behind me and the weather soon to turn I know I need a new label.

Writer. It's something I've always wanted to be, or pretended to be and think I can't be. I love to write but I self edit so much, most times I barely get anything on a page. I know there are 800 thousands blogs out there - and I don't believe I have too much original to say. But I think sharing your life, your story, writing down your history is a gift to yourself and really to my children. So blog, I'm back. It's time to add writer to my list of labels.