Monday, October 17, 2005

Sigh

Shortly after Colin was born, I set out to find Anna a preschool, because she was so darned bright and articulate she needed more stimulation that I could give her, and also I wanted to have some time to spend bonding with the new baby. We found her a great Montessori school, which has been wonderful on many levels, but I was surprised by a couple of things.

It seems what Anna needed more than additional verbal stimulation was actually a place to foster her independence. She has really thrived at school, after an initial 6 weeks of bawling and tearing my heart out everytime I left her. Now she has her own little world there to grow and learn and become her own self.

I hardly remember the alone time with Colin that first year Anna was at school. Sure, I remember sitting on the couch with him while he nursed, and planning my day around the 2-nap schedule. And although I immediately bonded with my second baby, the relationship is inherently less narcissistic.

NOW, though, now that Colin is about the age that Anna was when she started her school, now I love my mornings alone with him. After Anna is off to school, we sit down for a leisurely breakfast, then he plays while I do some chores, then we go to the rec center. He loves staying with the lovely German woman in the nursery while I jog and lift weights. When I return, he runs to me with a smiling "Mommy!" and hugs me like I'm his favorite person. Then he tells me he wants to ride the elevator, and we jump down the stairs, counting first in English, then in German or Spanish (his choice). Afterwards, we might go to HEB (our local grocery store), and he acts like its the highlight of his day, mostly because of the free cookies in the deli. We go home and have lunch together, and he generously shares his half-chewed food and makes monster noises, and encourages me to join him. If I stick out my tongue at him, he shrieks with laughter, touches my tongue, and says, "Again, Mommy," at least 20 times.

Today after lunch, we went outside and fed the chickens some leftover rice, then he sprayed the garden with water until I suggested the swing. Then we did the swing until his little heart was content, which was just about time to go pick up Anna and then take a nap.

And it's great because when Anna comes home, she has me all to herself. Today, she and I took a shower, delivered neighborhood newsletters to our block, then watched "The Young Black Stallion."

Anthony had a meeting tonight, and Colin gave him such an enthusiastic hug and kiss. Anth said, "I'm going to miss this when we are no longer the people they most want to spend time with." Anna was tired and I put her down first, then read books to Colin. He spent a long time revisiting the pages after the story was finished, discussing the symbolism in the pictures. He was so relaxed and snuggly, and smelled like vanilla and cinnamon. (sigh) Do they really have to grow up?

7 comments:

Grandad said...

Yeah, time passes. What an thoughtful post Jenn.
I can remember times in N.Y. when you were the only child we had and how neat it was to see your smarts and to show you how some things in this life work.
At about 2 years old you were terribly afraid of ants and at one time when we were walking to Alley Pond Park just by Union Tpke in Queens......( it was a block or two from our house) I had to keep showing you they were not dangerous. Unlike the Texas ants, these particular ones we saw that day were not bitters!
That was the park where you always would go peep like Mungo...... at 2 you were trained to tell us when the pottie was needed!
I am so glad you are aware that these times are fleeting. One of the memorable quotes from your Nana when Mommy was asking her about her life was that she thought her kids would be around her forever.....and it ain't so!
I'm adding here (your Mom) ah, yes the time goes so quickly. Seems like yesterday you were our first shining star and Emily our beautiful second and Stephanie our lovely third. Your thoughts describe so well what make the fabric of parents memories - so all consuming now for you and so long ago for us.
We love our children and our grandchildren .... Love, M & D

Auntie Norma said...

Yes ,Bev, and it shows :o) you are all so fortunate to have each other...my Family split up to all corners of the World...now I get pleasure just reading about them...xxx

paula said...

That's a very lovely post Jenn. I really admire the way you balance everything so well (home, work, children, play etc), I sometimes struggle coping with just one child (and I'm a full time housewife). I think it's so great that your rec centre has childcare facilities, we don't really have that here in Runcorn!! I try to swim three or four times a week and I have to fit that in by going at 7.00am before Rich goes to work so that he can look after Lukey. But children are such a blessing aren't they! Luke has some absolutely terrible tantrums (he's 2 and 3 months!!) he also has a very upsetting habit of hitting out when he gets frustrated! I find it really hard at times! But then the majority of the time he is such a beautiful, thoughtful and clever little boy it kind of makes up for it.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet post, Jenn. I do remember when Anna started attending her school... she excelled(and still is) in everything the teachers taught her.

She's so smart!

Colin is growing up TOO fast! He's turning into a little boy before my very eyes!

I'm with you,Jenn, do they REALLY have to grow up?

Love-Bevie-

Emily said...

Sounds like you had a lovely day. I agree with Paula, you seem to have a nice balance in your life. Kiss them for me!

Jess said...

What a lovely post. It really pulled at my heart. You're such a wonderful writer, Jennifer.

You're children are an absolute delight also! I have pictures of them on my bulletin board and when my college friends ask me who they are I have to refrain from going into long drawn out descriptions of how lovely they are! I really can't picture my college guy friends understanding how awesome Anna and Colin are unless they get the chance to meet them. Especially the first time Anna says something purely innocent and blunt to them. (You know how Anna is!) haha. Aww, I miss them!

I hope everything is going well. Be safe! :)

Julie said...

Your DH is right--I'm dreading the way I'm no longer the cool mom that they want to be with, but an embarrassment they wish no one would ever see! I know it's coming, but I don't think it's possible to prepare for that...