Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's All About Getting Home Safely Anyway, Right?

image from sarahjanestudios

We have our first T-ball practice in T minus three hours. I don't think it would be hyperbole to say I'm having a small anxiety attack about it; I know what this is the beginning of. The online registration quickened my pulse; I think I was breathing Lamaze while entering my payment information. I know. It will be so fun for Henry (he's been asking about the five thirty hour ALL. DAY. LONG.) He's napping with his mitt as I type this.

I'm just apprehensive about the phase of life this represents. And, harder to swallow, the one that has to end with this new beginning.

I'm not sure I can describe the way I've savored the life with little children. Awakened every morning by none other than our own circadian rhythms. (Nate's is the only body that even stirs at the sound of an alarm.) Shuffling sleepily in our pajamas as long as we like. The most pressing issues being choices between breakfast options (yogurt and fruit or oatmeal and toast ?) Deciding together, often in a tub of soapy water, on the plan de jour. Coming and going mostly as we please. Meeting friends at the park, and staying for almost three lazy hours. Because the children are busy, happily tiring themselves on stick-hunts and forest-explorations. Because the breeze keeps coming. And so does the conversation. And the only thing waiting at home is the day's clutter and a sinkful of dishes that need to be done before dinner is started. Home for quiet time. The four o'clock bewitching hour (that lasts 'til daddy comes home) at which point we've exhausted our cheer, our plans and our creativity. It's survival mode 'til the hum of the garage door announces that back-up has arrived. Then dinner. Rough play with dad, maybe some yard work. A family walk if we fancy. And bedtime (early if the patience has expired, later if not). No distinction between school nights and weekends, only the query as to whether or not daddy gets to stay home in the morning. The timetables have been self-imposed. Appointments made to harmonize with the rhythm of our days. Plans kept to a minimum. Spontaneity reigning.

And perhaps I'm giving way to a bit of senseless drama, but I feel like that's all beginning to end. With T-ball. Our first scheduled commitment (that's happening more than once - eight weeks! Committed to it with our Mastercard.)

It will end. Summer will come. And then there's fall -- with community classes on the horizon, more of schedules, more of commitments. And kindergarten waits in the wings, its shadow getting bigger every week. Ack. (Exhale).

I've never been good at change, especially the anticipation of it. Especially when I've loved the status quo the way I've loved the past four years. I just have to let myself mourn the end of this chapter for a bit...for about three more hours.

Then it's Root! Root! Root! for the hometeam. I've never been one to hoop-n-holler, but I'm sure I'll surprise myself when my little man is up to bat.

Run, Henry! Run!

You're doing just what you're supposed to. And I'm right behind you, trying to keep up, trying to loosen my white-knuckle grip on your little-boy-hood. Adjusting my helmet, taking a practice swing (and a few deep breaths), and stepping up to the plate of this new stage of motherhood.


  1. sniff. Thanks for putting it so well. "Sign Lucy up for a dance class" has been on my to-do list for so long. But I keep putting it off...
    The way I keep thoughts of kindergarten at arms length. Glad to have an empathetic friend heading into the fray with me!

    And your photos, Em, your photos are GORGEOUS. Beyond words.

  2. Well I hope this isn't too Debbie Downer but I think you're kind of right. This is the end of an era. I'm glad you've appreciated the simplicity of your life as a mother this far. I think at your stage I was too busy trying to figure out what to do all day to enjoy it. My life now is so blasted complicated sometimes, I really miss those days. And of course, I'm trying to remember to enjoy this crazy time too, since I'm sure in 10 years I'll be looking back at it with fondness....

  3. I was hoping you'd comment, Liz, because I know you know all about the evolution of motherhood. It's not Debbie Downer to say this is true; just honest.

  4. It is for sure bittersweet but I will say as a mother of 2 kids with busy schedules, it is soooo fun to watch them mature, make new friends and learn new things. Kindergarten is AMAZING!!! I am loving this stage of life.

  5. I know what you mean, Em, but it is very excited to watch them grow and you will see a big difference in Henry as he progresses.Kindergarten is amazing and fun!

  6. I got so sad reading your post because I feel the same way, and I am only a short time behind you. But then to read the positive comments about the next stage helped me a little. (Just a little.) Why can't we just freeze our stage in life until WE decide we're ready to move on. I suppose that would be a recipe for disaster. I guess it's all about enjoying the journey, right?

  7. Wow, Em, another great post. It really rang true to me. I just signed to boys up for T-ball too. WE've actually been in lots of activities, classes, preschool, etc, but still with each new class it's a little sad (and exciting). In general we still have a very open schedule and we all wake up in the morning only when we are ready. It's so great! I will miss that so much when that's not my phase in life any more.
    Anyway, loved your post. If you made a book of your thoughtful posts I would buy it.

  8. I loved being home all day with my little ones! But now that I have two in school, and they are older I am enjoying this time, too. Ali takes hula and Chase adores soccer. It is fun to watch them as thy spread their wings... much busier, but so rewarding in a different way!

  9. A chapter closed, a new one awaits, and I'm sure we'll find things to love about it too! I do have tears in my eyes though, why can't we just have it all, all the time? And why do you and I have the same thoughts running through our heads so often...if I didn't like you so much I may think you had my brain bugged and get a little paranoid! :)

  10. Yet another poignant post from my Em. Bless your tender, sentimental heart. All will be well...and there will surely be sweet moments around the corner of this new beginning.