You know, as I’m sitting here contemplating what to write, it just occurred to me that I am feeling completely at ease. Oh hello there, peaceful feeling. Stick around a while, won’t ya?
There are many wonderful things contributing to this. One major factor is that I finally got some much-needed rest over the weekend, courtesy of my kind and generous husband. Everything really does feel more manageable with some solid REM.
And just last week I made the pretty major leap and moved Finn (crib and all) into Leni’s room and it hasn’t been a total disaster. This is also contributing to more rest for me. We have now passed a whole week without night time feedings. Holy shit, right? Ok–full disclosure–I shipped Leni into another room temporarily. The plan is to have him a little more out of reach so I don’t react to him so quickly, but he’s still pretty noisy if he wakes in the night and I don’t want to mess up her sleep in the process. Still, it feels like a huge step forward to have a room alone with Jose again. It only took about 280 nights (a third of which were on the couch), but who’s counting?
But wait, there’s more! I had some much-needed, way overdue, one-on-one time with my eldest over the weekend. We went to Cirque Du Soleil and it felt so good to do something special together. Being able to focus on her without juggling eight other things and another little human, was such a gift. We may get less time alone, but I’m determined to make the time we do count. Our relationship has, understandably, evolved since Finn came into the picture and I have sometimes struggled to make peace with it and keep the guilts at bay. Going out with her the other day made me aware of the beauty in our new dynamic. I am totally present when we have this kind of opportunity because it’s not as easy to come by now. At home I tend to be the primary boundary-setter and it felt good to just relax together and be a little indulgent. Step outside of our routine and focus on sharing a new, exciting experience. I guess our shifting relationship doesn’t necessarily have to be about loss or where I’ve failed. My need to divide my attention between Finn and Leni brought out a lot of wonderful things too. It drew Leni even closer to Jose, helped us prioritize preschool which has been invaluable, and generally forced me to embrace help when it’s offered more than ever. That help has even started to come from Leni, in a surprising twist. So note to self: um, hello, do this more.
At the heart of the peace I’m experiencing, I think, is this beautiful shift I’m noticing in my kids. At 3.5 years and 9.5 months, they are both in this sweet spot (and not currently ill for the first time in a while–knock on wood). Leni is communicating so clearly now, which is bringing out her incredible, hilarious personality even more. She loves puzzles, dressing up and singing, and is learning to dress herself. Those big emotions of the early 3’s are becoming (somewhat) easier for her to manage too. Her little brother Finnegan smiles constantly, makes sounds that are starting to resemble recognizable words and is constantly scaling furniture. He now focuses on one “game” at a time for longer periods, loves to eat–especially cucumbers and slurpable noodles–and moves around in a way that makes me think walking isn’t far off (god help us all).
The real miracle, though, is watching the two of them interact. Just a few weeks back, I was making dinner and suddenly realized not only were Finn and Leni quietly playing (safely), but they were playing together. Since then I’m noticing it more and more. Believe it or not, I kind of forgot that was a part of the deal with siblings. I’ve spent so many months managing (what feels like) their often disparate needs, that I kind of missed some of the subtle changes that got us here. I mean I’m not saying it’s all peaceful and perfect, but it’s beautiful to see a glimmer of their future as siblings. They now even take baths together, which is cute as punch and practical to boot.
All these small moments have really added up. The dynamic of our family has shifted in a way I couldn’t have predicted in those foggy hormonal months after Finn’s birth.
So I’ll welcome this moment of tranquility while it lasts, thank you.