The first month of 2013 is over.
It was a significant one, in an unexpected way. Not that it shouldn’t have been significant, but rather that I just kind of slid into the month, into the new year, without a lot of expectations, without too many concrete plans (that coming from the woman who has another book in the works, a private practice and four trips planned for the spring).
But you know what I mean, right?
Or maybe it’s just that all the things I had put into place weren’t quite what I thought they’d be. They turned out better, more, quieter, louder, and more concrete.
Greg started a new job, for one. We brought a nanny on, and Vera began going longer days at school. These were big changes to our routine and suddenly I’ve found myself at home alone with the baby for big stretches of the day. It’s been both pleasant and strange.
It feels like Juliette and I are getting to know each other in a deeper way, and it’s very sweet. She is such a happy little gal. She smiles and smiles and smiles. She is not nearly as independent as Vera. She hates being left alone and would much rather ride around on my hip ALL day, rather than explore. Pretty much the opposite of her sister.
For the first couple of weeks of this new schedule I spent our days together trying to get things done. While she crawled around or napped I attempted to write blog posts, follow up on email, submit essays, do laundry, dishes, clean out my closet, cook, go to the grocery store, and on and on. But Juliette did not make any of those things very easy (not that she should) and eventually I gave up, and now we spend our days doing the things she wants to do.
It’s working out pretty well so far. She’s happy. I’m happier, even if I’m not getting as much done. She has also learned to crawl, which is both maddening (into everything now) and heartbreakingly sweet. I came home from work the other day and she was on the playmat with the nanny. She took one look at me and crawled clear across the living room to me, the longest distance she’d traversed yet. It was the purest feeling of love, I’ll tell you. And I remembered the very moment that Vera did the same thing three years ago. I’ve never felt as loved in my life, as these girls make me feel. I like thinking that I made my parents feel the same way.
On the flipside, I’ve been missing Vera a little bit. I’ve been spending less time than ever with her. She’s in school full days three days a week now, and on the days she’s not in school I’m working. We still have afternoons and a couple of mornings, but it’s definitely a change. When we are together I try to make sure that whatever we’re doing is special.
Vera’s world is opening up though, and it’s exciting to see.
She started ballet school and loves it more than I’ve ever seen her love anything. The concentration and attention she puts forth in those 60 minutes every week is more than I’ve seen her dedicate to anything else.
She continues to cultivate her very own sense of fashion, something she’s felt strongly about since the very beginning. Some days I fight her over what she wants to wear. Other days I just give in.
In an attempt to forth a little more mama-effort (I had this internal crisis over the holidays in which I felt like I was just being a “good enough” mother. Like I was getting her fed and dressed and to school and to playdates and to bed, but I wasn’t creating the extra magic in her life that I felt like I could.) I invited over a bunch of her little friends for a dress-up party. The morning was a blast and even though it was hectic and messy, I felt glad that I was able to do something special like that for her.
Greg has been enjoying his new job, and when we’re all together in the mornings and evenings time seems more valuable and potent than it has in a while.
January has also brought a bit of time for self-relfection. For the first time since Juliette was born, I’ve had quiet moments, long walks, afternoons at the coffee shop, and just time to remember who I am. Suddenly there are things about myself I’m remembering, things that get passed over and put away in the days of a new baby. I’m feeling an excitement and intensity about life again, and it feels good.
A few other things I’ve been into lately:
Vine. I’m terrible at it so far, but I think my husband has found his calling. If you’re on Vine follow me for boring baby videos, and follow Greg for some of the best 6 seconds you might experience all day. He does cool ones like this. And weird ones like this.
Books. Right now I’m reading Kerry Cohen’s Seeing Ezra, a memoir about her autistic son. I just finished Two Kisses for Maddy by Matt Logelin. I swore I was never going to read his book because it sounded too sad but then we met and became friends and I read his book and yes, it was sad, but it was also real and perfect. Vera and I are both a little obsessed with Matt and Maddy right now, and feeling lucky that they’re indulging us with playdates and stuffed animal swaps. Next up on my reading list is Nightswim by Jessica Keener.
Blogs. I can’t get enough of Kelle Hampton’s blog lately. She’s about to have her third baby and is nesting like crazy and *almost* making me want to have another one. I’m also loving Jessica Shyba and Aidan Donnelly Rowley, kindred mamas and women living big, wonderful lives.
Upcoming. I’m going to be in NYC next month for the Books for a Better Life ceremony and I am so excited to visit one of my favorite places in the world. I swear every time I go to New York I feel like I’m visiting a lover who got away. I’m already swooning for our time together.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I can’t wait to see what this month brings.