Eric shared time with Nana Mitchell this morning!
I am fortunate beyond measure that two of my grandparents are still living and that I am able to experience this phase of my life with them. I miss terribly the people in my family we have lost who will never know either of my children, especially Uncle Eric and Grandpa Mitchell. Perhaps the most bittersweet loss is Grandpa Don, only in that his death in May 2008 marked a divide between my two children: with Katie he shared a small part of life, but with Eric he will not. The fact that he is gone is made new again when I realize how old my daughter is---and how she met him when she was hardly more than Eric's age.
We are thankful, though, for the time we have remaining with those we love so much:
Nana holds Eric, one of her two great-grandsons.
Great-grandchildren---a special moment.
It is all part of building a family history, and a sense of family loyalty and love. I wish we could have these times forever...
We have had a great week in other respects, as well. One of my girlfriends organized a pool day at her house on Tuesday, and the kiddos and I had a very peaceful and relaxing afternoon with her as well as a handful of other mommies and children. Eric snoozed on a shaded couch most of the time, and so I was able to play with Katie---we practiced some swimming and jumping and it was a beautiful thing just to hold her and play in the water as we had been doing so often right before Eric's birth. When Eric had wakeful moments, I held him by the water's edge while Katie played on a large shallow step. It all worked out really well, and we had a perfect time. I was grateful that my friend planned this for all of us!
Other than that, we've been adjusting to new routines and I am keeping my perspective regarding this transitory time of little sleep. Last night was rough...but I remember that everything has a season, and that I need to savor every second of Eric's infancy. I know from experience now that in just a few months I will look back on these nights with longing. I remember so many cozy nights with Katie in the months after she was first born: we nursed on the couch by our Christmas tree. I'll never forget those moments with her. In fact, the night before taking the tree down after Christmas, I stood near it with her and looked with intent and told myself, "Remember this sight. Remember this. Remember what it feels like to hold her in this magic glow." And I do... So each night now I am attempting to "look with intent" at: Venus outside Eric's window, at his little eyes peering up at me in the darkened room, at the moonlight around us in the playroom, at everything. It is not ever easy to be sleepless...but I know what two gifts I have been given, and sleep will come one day.
As far as negotiating other parts of life, I am beginning to get a handle on what baby gear we need and when. Eric seems to love his Bjorn baby carrier (he loves to be upright), and that works well for my mobility around Katie's gymnastics class. I tried a sling with Katie, but long before they were recalled, I had immense trepidation about putting her in there: she always seemed to be in danger of suffocating. I only used the sling twice for that reason. We are able to leave Eric in his car seat carrier for the market.... and we used the double stroller yesterday at the mall. Each destination is different right now. Aspects of transporting two children are easier than I thought they would be...but sometimes getting them both in the car along with myself is the biggest challenge right now. It takes a couple of hours to be ready for the day, with breakfast too...and some days I forget to eat. I am actually fitting back into at least one pair of non-maternity jeans, so being busy has its advantages!
Being a mommy to two children under three is definitely an adventure, but one that is gift... I am grateful everyday.