October 22, 2009

Marbles Rolling

When plans for Sunday brunch were canceled unexpectedly, we found ourselves all dressed up with nowhere to go. We sat on our bed with scowled faces for a good minute before Andy declared, "We're going to Richmond. Call your sister." And like giddy children we left for the south in a spontaneous hurry.

Back in the 23220 zip code we picked up Vanessa and headed straight for Bottom's Up Pizza, then to Bev's for ice-cream. Before we knew it, nap time had arrived, and we were headed back home.

While Roscoe slept, I considered the fact that our life will be in flux for the remainder of our child-rearing years. Like marbles rolling, momentum propels us into the future. As Roscoe masters new skills, his world just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Last night for the first time, he reached out with intent to touch Chloe, and was rewarded when his tiny hands clenched around a fistful of her fur.

Andy and I are fluent in the language of setting goals and laying out plans. So much so that there have been times when I felt as if I was living more in my future than in my present. Admittedly, I have experienced some very low moments where all I could do was chase dreams because my life at the time just didn't seem to be enough.

I've wanted kids for many, many years. I once wondered that if I ever got pregnant, and after the baby was born, if I might stare blankly at my new family and think to myself, "Well, now what?"With the ultimate goal achieved, would I be fulfilled or would I feel compelled to look elsewhere for the next challenge? Was it motherhood that I really wanted? Would my family be enough?

Those fears seem silly now because while it felt as if the world really did stand still in those first few weeks following Roscoe's birth, it quickly resumed! Now every day brings new challenges, new happiness, and new meaning to a life that I thought I already knew pretty well. Old experiences are new again when sharing them with your child. The opportunities and motivation to be a better human being, a better wife, and a better mother are constant. Now that Roscoe is here my love for my life has exploded. My lists of places I want to travel to, books I want to read, people I want to connect with, passions I want to dive into, just keep growing.

Now that Roscoe is here I appreciate that life is not forever.

As parents we're forced to adapt in order to meet the needs of our kids. Routines are fluid. Phases are temporary. Eventually even the worst (and best) will pass. As Roscoe's world expands, so does ours. We can't help but try our best to meet our kids where they are in order to challenge, delight, and encourage them to continue exploring. As they grow up, we grow too, and that is the pleasure and the pain of it.


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