Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.
I probably should be sleeping right now, seeing as how I’m laid up with tonsillitis and an ear infection at the moment (yes, the joys of having a child in daycare). But my mind is racing a little too much for that and it seems like maybe writing is the answer.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about balance and how I hope I get much better at finding it as I get farther down this path of parenthood. I’m really terrible at it right now.
I know I need to cut myself a little slack – my baby is only 3 ½ months old after all – but I have a tendency to sort of over-analyze things (I can hear the giggles of my friends and loved ones as I type) and this seems like the perfect topic to obsess over. You see, I really like the idea of sharing all parenting duties. In theory, the thought of leaving Annie at home with Daddy while I go get a pedicure or have a drink with a friend or shop for something that isn’t located in the baby department of any given store seems fantastic. But actually doing it? That I’m not so good at…yet. I can’t even explain what my problem is either. It certainly isn’t that I don’t have a willing participant in David. Or that Annie is such a complicated baby that no one but Mama will do. I just have a hard time cutting the cord – even if I’m in the same house or the same room. I don't have any answers right now - at least not ones that I can put into a coherent sentence or two or three, but I'll keep thinking on it. And hopefully all that obsessing will help me get better at sharing the load.
|Oh, the love.|
Speaking of balance and lack of it, I took Annie to my hometown this weekend for her first ever Court Days – an event where high fat food consumption is balanced only by a presence of flea market-type nonsense and fake designer wares. It’s silly, a little dangerous (people actually walk around with guns slung over their shoulders) and pretty redneck, but it’s a necessary evil if you are from Mt. Sterling, Kentucky. I couldn’t let my little girl go through her first October without experiencing it! And I couldn’t let myself go through the whole weekend without a ribeye sandwich and Ale-8 (If you are from Mt. Sterling, you know the joys of which I speak. If you aren’t, well, no explanation will really do it justice).
My mom and I also took Annie to her first pumpkin patch! Although these things weren’t as en vogue when I was a kid and I don’t remember actually going to one myself growing up, I was really excited to take baby girl to pick out a tiny little, Annie-sized pumpkin. The Court Day tomfoolery of earlier in the day and a runny nose (hers, not mine) made Annie a little cranky once we got to the patch, but I did manage to snap one good picture while we were there...and I got some nice fall décor for our front porch. Bring it, Halloween!
All these fall activities – Court Days, pumpkin patches, the cooler temperatures, Starbucks bringing out its pumpkin syrup – have made me think a lot about traditions and how much I want my daughter to experience them. I’m kind of becoming a family tradition freak in my own mind. David better watch out because as Annie gets old enough to actually understand and remember the experiences we create for her, I’m afraid I’m going to go a little overboard with the celebrating. I just know how much I enjoyed the hay rides and haunted houses and leaf-raking followed closely by leaf-pile jumping that I did in the fall when I was a kid. I want her to have pleasant memories every time she smells pumpkin pie or apple cider, just like I do. And maybe 30 years from now, she can write on whatever the Jetsons-era version of a blog is about how much she loves the memories that David and I are about to make with her. Maybe she can do that and get one of those ovens that makes your dinner at the touch of a button, like George and Judy Jetson had, because Mama would love to see that.
It was a busy weekend, but we also found time for a little of this...
|Baby girl loves her daddy...and those plastic rings.|
And, because Annie was feeling a little under the weather, we did a fair amount of this too...
And since this is a post about fall, here's a little preview - a teaser, if you will - of what Annie will be decked out in come Halloween.