I love when we travel and go out.
Considering it’s a little more involved with a baby, I appreciate the time we have both as a couple and as a family exploring new sites in our area and around the states.
I absolutely love when we are there, but my extreme love for exploring ends up nearly driving everyone insane from the time we start planning right up to the minute we step foot outside.
Like a worried old man, I become anxious about what we could do with our time or money instead of traveling or going out. Flights are how much? And the closer we get to the travel plans, the more I am plagued by what troubles might ensue, like the clothes I did not think to pack. I end up having trouble actually enjoying the idea of traveling because all I can think about is what I’d forgotten, what I should be wearing, and how everyone else will surely be better prepared.
It’s draining. And my evil powers morphs the mood around the whole house.
The husband hates the days before traveling with me or the hours before we go somewhere because I spend the time erratically scanning the closet or suitcase… Of course, there will be nothing in my closet to wear, or something I had forgotten to purchase for our travels, and then, there is the not-so-profound announcement that I don’t want to go! Then, everyone is depressed that the notion of our travel or going out plans will be ruined.
If mom’s not happy, no one is happy.
BUT everytime the husband manages to talk me off the ledge, and (yep) we have a blast. My anxiety is transformed to complete bliss that we decided to go, to travel, and nothing we “forgot” ever even really affects us; what I’m wearing is usually appropriate, and we manage our finances well enough that we can travel when we want. And I declare next time I won’t do that. Sigh.
This form of pessimism is NOT one of my better traits. And unfortunately, it is not confined to just traveling or going out.
As of late, this misplaced uncertainty has transferred into caring for Jack. Are we prepared enough for his next steps at any given stage? When he was in the hospital, did we prepare the nursery enough? When Jack was nursing, when do we start pureeing foods for him? Then Jack starting crawling, is the house prepared enough for his newfound mobility? And the list goes on.
With every new milestone, there is anxiety, but as it happens, there’s wonderful serenity in those moments. Until the next one.
A few weeks ago we had to move the floor of Jack’s crib to its lowest level because our nanny walked in to find him standing up with his little chest against the edge of the crib. Laughing hysterically, of course. With the crib lowered, we lost my crib skirt. It seems like decades ago that I sewed that little piece of fabric. (tear.)
We also decided to get out the real high chair because the Bumbo freaked me out when we sat it on the table, or anywhere for that matter. Jack would flail about for his feedings, and nothing was safe.
And he has outgrown his infant carrier. His little toes hit the back of the car seat, so we knew it was time. Of course, we read all the reviews and Consumer Reports for every car seat from here to Egypt and finally settled on one.
I also continue to put away his outgrown clothes in the “0-6 bin” with a tearful hug to each and every one of them. Yes, I hug his clothes. Especially his little footed pajamas that seem too small for even Turk to have worn. Labels found here.
Every time I look at him, I keep thinking how vital this time is. That one day he will be asking us to cross the street, sleepover at a friend’s house, then use the car, graduation, and going off to college. After that I will be presented with a girl he will ask to marry. Yes, I think of this often.
This also makes me aware of what a crazy mother-in-law this will make me. That poor, poor girl. Ha.
So, perhaps with these changes, I will resolve to try to be more mindful about staying in the moment. I want to be prepared, but I also want to enjoy all these moments and not let my anxiety take over. I called about Jack’s kindergarten the other day. Yes, I need to stop.
Or maybe I’ll become a hermit and never leave the house with Jack, ever. Options.
Happy 10 months, Jack!*
* no elephants were harmed in the making of this post.