Sunday, September 11, 2016

7QT {09.11.16} -- Random Brain/Photo Dump

It's Sunday. I've been trying to write this post since Friday. I'm alone at Starbucks for an hour or so -- the first time I've been alone anywhere that I don't have to clean since Dominic was born. Let's get to it before I get a call that Mr. D is starving and inconsolable. (Tardily linking up with Kelly.)

1.  I feel like we're settling in to life as a family of 5. Charles started back on an in-service rotation last Monday, which was also the day after the last of our family/company/helpers left, so that was our kick back to reality. I'm still figuring out how to get out the door consistently on time, in part because Dominic is still pretty unpredictable. Tonight, Charles starts his first week of nights (plus a more-than 24 hour shift on Saturday/Sunday) since D was born. I'm not going to like, I'm terrified, but I also know that we'll get through it, and I'll feel like I've got a much better hold on life as a family of five on the other side of this week/end. Just trying to take it one day at a time, instead of overthinking it. Trying being the operative word. Let's just say I bought paper plates, I intend to use them, and I generally hate paper plates.

2. Speaking of Mr. D, he turned one month yesterday. He's cooing and smiling and only hates tummy time 50% of the time. The other half he just finds a fist to suck on and goes for it. Boy loves to nurse, and even takes his "cow paci" sometimes. He still sleeps insanely well at night (counting my blessings while they last), and is basically my little appendage. He's a good, sweet boy, and the big kids are in love. 

That tongue.

3. He also got baptized two weeks ago. Boom! Good-bye Original Sin! Hello New Life in Christ! 

All the heart-eyed emojis.

4. Clare started pre-K (?!?) at the end of August. She's loving it. Her class has 14 girls, no boys, several friends, and the same teacher as last year. #winning. 

First day. Front porch. Not at all cliche.

Bonus: This year, Peter is enjoying his Clare-free time, "helping" me around the house, reading lots of books of his choice, and playing with whatever he wants whenever and wherever he wants. Then, he's excited to go pick her up -- it's just enough alone time for him!

5. Clare is also back in weekly gymnastics and dance. This year, her dance class does both tap and ballet, and she's loving having tap shoes. She especially seems to love them during nap time. #notwinning

Ahem. Throwback pic to her first class . . . in June.

Excited for her tap shoes!

6. Life with your third newborn is decidedly different than life with your first. Example: at three weeks, Clare had been to Target and Mass. At three weeks, Peter had been to Target, Mass, the grocery store, and one or two parks. At three weeks, Dominic had been to Target, Mass, the grocery store, a few parks, the zoo (twice), the children's museum, a handful of other stores and several restaurants. Yet, somehow, I'm trying harder to soak up his tiny-baby status, because I know it won't last. 

First trip to the park

7. I would be remiss if I didn't make mention of today, since it's the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It's a day that I, like pretty much everyone, will never forget. I can recall my "where were you" vividly -- huddled around a dorm TV. I cannot help but pray today -- for the lives lost, for lives irreconcilably changed, in thanksgiving for those who served in the aftermath, for the changed world that has emerged. I pray to remember, and I pray for peace. I also reflect on my own life in that time, and pray in thanksgiving for the gift of faith. I pray in thanksgiving for the life I'm now living. 
Happy week (and waning hours of the weekend)!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Savoring the Season

It started with a check yourself moment Monday morning. I began to feel sorry for myself, because the holiday day was starting to look like a pretty ordinary morning. And, with Charles off, wasn't I supposed to have a lovely, photogenic family day?!? It lasted about 30 seconds before I snapped out of it, reminding myself that the media, and especially social media, are not purveyors of 100% accuracy in their portrayal of life. Besides, our afternoon plans were for the pool and burgers on the grill. What is more hashtag-worthy than that?

So I righted my thinking, got over it, and got on with my day, which proved to be perfect in that it gave me, not an Inta-worthy photo, but deep, penetrating, soul-feeding contentment. That happiness is so very much better.

Four hours after my momentary pity party, I found myself reflecting on the whole thing. It was a strange Labor Day Weekend. On the one hand, the calendar had flipped to September, so we (societal we) were all about apples and pumpkins, scarves and boots. Fall, in all its glory, had arrived. On the other hand, here we were, celebrating the waning days of summer, on the last "official" (if artificially designated) day of summer. Knowing the days ahead will bring the fall of the media and the catalogues in fits and starts for weeks, months even. Knowing that the public's taste for autumn will come and go all too soon. The Christmas catalogues, surely, are already being prepared for mailing.

So there I was poolside, nursing Dominic, while Charles took the big kids to play in the water. Watching the scene before me, my eyes welled with the simultaneous recognition of how blessed I am and how fleeting it all is. 

Change, like fall, is in the air. Charles' and my minds are occupied with figuring out what follows residency--and where. Mulling possibilities and futures and dreams.

Clare was running and splashing and squealing -- oh! how she squeals! -- in French braids and her purple tutu tank that will surely be too small next summer.

Peter was there, a home body away from home, but happy with his people. His safe place. Fumbling his toddler-ish way from baby to boy, his cars and his family never too far away.

And tiny Dominic, 4 weeks old, and already filling out, growing. I'm going to blink, and he'll be Peter's age. Clare's. And they'll be...I don't want to think about it.

I want to rebel. Stop rushing time. Stop declaring the commencement of fall before summer ends. Stop running headlong into Christmas before the turkey is roasted. Stop wishing away today's challenges, tempted by the promise of tomorrow.

Instead, I want to savor the little girl squeals (even though they pierce my ears), the cars under foot (even when they make me curse under my breath), the sweet baby who has dozed off in my arms (even when it means the laundry won't get folded). I want to savor the present, not because it is perfect, but because it is good, intrinsically, life affirmingly good. Because I can already feel it slipping through my fingers. 

I want to savor this season, because I only get to taste it once.