I think my pal Rachel's Tuesday Ten might be just the thing to revive this poor neglected blog.
Blogging doesn't really fit into my life right now, but that's not okay with me. I care about this space and this record and I will keep coming back to it, always.
Today I'm thinking about stages and how they morph and how it makes life better/worse and how I'm happy that right now, it's better.
Camilla started school this fall, first grade since we homeschooled her for kindergarten, and we couldn't have asked for her to have an easier and happier transition than she's had. I'm thrilled.
I'm also discovering that I can look forward to the future. Which is nice.
When Camilla was six months old we went to visit my nana, who raised seven children of her own and has always been very loving and supportive of me as a mother. (She reads my blog too. Hi Nana!) (She's also on Facebook, so I'm pretty sure she's the tech-rockingest great-grandmother out there.)
I was confessing to Nana that although I loved my baby, I wasn't really loving babyhood so far. That, in fact, I was looking forward to Camilla growing up, even though everyone said I should cherish her infancy because it would pass so quickly. (It felt both slow and quick to me, but I was happy when it felt quick, because I was finding it impossible to really cherish.)
Nana told me that she, personally, always loved babyhood. Babies are her thing. "But, you know," she said, "I had a friend who found them boring. She'd come over and watch me holding my baby and loving every second of it, and just shake her head because she didn't find that joy in it."
"Then, years later when our kids were in school and all the activities that went along with that, she thrived. I struggled to manage it all, and she couldn't have been happier. She was a great mom, she just wasn't a baby person. We all have our strengths."
I've always felt better about my non-loving of babyhood since then. I've also wondered when I would find the part of the kids-at-hom years that came naturally to me. I'm not fooling myself - I know that I'm an effecitve mother to my babies, that I'm reasonably good at it. After four of them, I've even settled into it pretty well. But I don't love it.
With Camilla in school, I'm finally hitting my stride. It's weird to have her at school all day and still have three little ones at home; it feels like I've got feet in two worlds. Nothing much has changed with Blaise and Linus and Ambrose, but with Camilla it's new and different. And great.
Okay, I'll never love packing lunches, and I could take or leave the nightly "where are all the uniform pieces?" game, but everything else is awesome. The minutiae of it - emails to the teacher, signing the homework sheet, organizing her first not-just-family birthday party - these things are still tasks to be checked off the list, but they're things I enjoy SO MUCH MORE than another brainstorming session about nightweaning.
(In case you're new to this blog: baby sleep is my bugaboo.)
I feel like I am GOOD at managing having a school-aged kid. Beyond all the logistical stuff, I love the conversations with a (nearly) six-year-old person. She's so fun and interesting and it's fun and interesting to be her mom. The other day we had a conversation about purgatory, for heaven's sake! (She was fascinated.) That is so, so much better than the stuff I have to do to keep my babies from hanging off my legs and screaming.
When did you hit your stride as a parent? Are you still waiting for it? Can you imagine what/when it might be?