Friday, March 2, 2012

Chasing Trucks

  For some wives it's the opening day of duck/deer/dove/fill-in-the-blank hunting season that signifies the beginning of their husbands' period of intermittent extended absences from the home. For coaches' wives it's the beginning of whatever sports season their husbands participate in. For wives of men in student ministry, it's the beginning of nice weather.

  This weekend kicks off Josh's busiest season: middle school retreat, jr. high spring break trip, men's Colorado trip,  high school discipleship training trip ... it all takes place between now and the beginning of July (coincidentally, when our next child is due to arrive). It continues to be pretty busy until September when the fall semester has gotten underway, but the bulk of activity is scheduled for the next 4 months. Gratefully, both of our families are nearby, so when I need a break or just another adult around the house, I have plenty of options. Unfortunately, I sense that in the coming months some of them may wish that they didn't live so close, as being the pregnant mother of a very active toddler makes me feel a bit needier than usual.

This pic has nothing to do with this post, but I love it.

 Tonight I was considering calling up my parents to see what they had planned for dinner, with hopes of taking Liam over to their house and having some extra hands and eyes to keep up with him for a couple of hours (especially since he was awake from 12:30-2:45 this morning, so I'm pretty tired - and he & I have both been struggling to get over a nasty cold for the past week). However, my grown-up judgment kicked in and I realized that tonight was a night I needed to be a parent, instead of calling mine so that I could be parented. I decided that this afternoon and evening needed to be all about Liam. No projects, no house-cleaning, no me trying to find entertainment or company for myself. And, it was fantastic.

  When Liam woke up from an extra long nap I told him we were going to go to TCBY for a frozen yogurt date. Just as we got loaded up in the car, he heard one of his favorite noises in the world - the sound of a sanitation truck headed our way. So, I got him back out of his carseat and we sat on the driveway and watched as the recycling truck lifted and dumped every recycling bin on our street. At TCBY we ended up eating yogurt coated in sprinkles, mini reece's, blueberries, "balls" (popping boba), and two "cookies" (iced animal crackers); because Liam chose our treat. The rest of the afternoon/evening involved carrying him on my shoulders for the length of our trip through the grocery store (in which he actually reminded me that I needed eggs when I got to the checkout line & hadn't picked them up yet!), "chasing" a concrete mixer truck (when he realized we were driving behind one on our way home he started squealing and yelling, "chase! chase!", so we took a detour & followed the truck until it pulled into a gated neighborhood), eating macaroni & cheese and tomato soup for dinner (his favorites), and cuddling on the couch to watch Cars 2 (until he got bored and wanted to watch Clifford, instead) and eat popcorn.

  Even though Liam and I spend most of our time most days together, I usually have some other agenda steering our time. Stuff I need to get done, places we need to get to, etc. These are necessary things, and I definitely don't think that it would be healthy or feasible for my 21 month old's preferences to dictate our lives. However, tonight it was so fun to just go with the flow and do exactly what he wanted. It was sweet to watch his eyes light up as we poured the candy he wanted on the yogurt and to hear him giggle when we chased the concrete mixer. It filled my heart to hear him exclaim, "Mater funny!" as he watched a Cars movie for the first time, and then to hear him ask for "Cifford" instead, because he loves saying the names of all the characters as they interact.

  I know this is a really long, detailed post; but I guess I just wanted to record it all to remind myself that it is up to me what these crazy next few months will be like. I can either feel bummed about all the busyness and focus on figuring out who is going to be taking care of me in my husband's absence; or I can be grateful for some extra days to give 100% of my attention to my little man, before his little sister enters our lives with all of her own needs and preferences. I really want to choose the latter - it seems like it will be much more fun for both Liam and me. Here's to a spring of being a giant pregnant lady chasing trucks.

Note: This post could make it seem like I dread this time of busyness in Josh's schedule. I don't. I love his job and really don't mind the crazy spring/summer schedule; but this year it does seem a little more overwhelming than usual due to all the pregnancy & toddler-ness around our home.

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