||[Dec. 25th, 2007|09:46 pm]
Christmas Day. Started as just another day, as far as Eli was concerned. Around 7:30, you come into the room and stand at my side of the bed to ask if I want to get up. When it's obvious I need a little coaxing, you go and get my bathrobe from the closet and put it on top of me. Then you go get my slippers and put them on top of the robe. Lastly, you get my glasses from the bathroom and put them on the night stand. At this point I know it's time for me to get up so you can dish out your "pink cereal" (cherry granola--your favorite). |
Even though you had plugged in the Christmas tree before coming to get me, as usual, you had forgotten that this was the morning to finally open all those presents under the tree. So we all ate breakfast, and after reminding you a number of times, you were ready to start ripping and tearing. Of course, the fun for a three year old (at least this one) wasn't so much seeing what was inside, but the act of unwrapping them all, one after another, regardless of whom they were supposed to be for.
Since Grandma left on the 12th we've been adjusting to just the four of us. Since Madeline is right there now, making noises, you are unwilling to crawl in bed with us in the middle of the night after you wake up, and since Grandma is gone you can't snuggle up with her. So you prod me out of bed, somewhere around 2:00, and I follow you to your bed, where we get in and fall back asleep. As soon as I wake up again, a half hour or so later, I sneak back to my bed. Often you are back in there again, around 5:00 or 6:00, to do it all over again.
Needless to say, it's taxing on me, and we are going to have to figure out a new routine before I start going back to work in a week from now. We've tried to bring this up to you numerous times, but you deny any need to change your precious routine. I foresee another difficult adjustment period, for all of us. And not just regarding nighttime habits. You are going to have a hard time sharing Mom's daytime attention with Madeline, who of course will demand a lot. So we are planning on getting you into a part time daycare or preschool, for your benefit and for Mom's.
Since Grandma left I've been cooking more, and it's kind of fun to get into that again. Today I planned out, purchased and cooked a Christmas dinner. I was quite a bit hung over from the wine the night before, but pulled it off (with Angie's help, thankfully). I needed a nap after that, much to your chagrin, Eli. There were new toys and games with which to play.
I recently read a story in the latest Parabola ("The New World" issue, which I mentioned came on the day you were born, Madeline) about a young man's struggle to figure out the world and the universe, who gets advice from his father to first find his plot of land, so to speak, and then from that spot discover the bigger picture's meaning. That story spoke to me because I can often be impatient and frustrated with myself for not having gotten enough reading, writing, traveling, self-examination done before now being given this immense responsibility of providing for and raising a family. I can understand better now the worth of having my feet planted firmly in place as a way of productively searching inward and outward for existential or metaphysical answers to life.
It still will be an exercise in patience, for the search will be delayed, prolonged, adjusted, but it gives me a sense of legitimacy and normalcy that I didn't have when I was trying to do it all on my own. It's hard to explain, but it comes down to changing into new routines and finding inspiration in new places. I may feel too tired or be unable to find enough time these days to pontificate much and be a productive writer, but this phase won't last forever either, and if I pay enough attention, I will have gained plenty more experience to produce rewarding output when time and energy are more plentiful.
Madeline, your day today was of course like any other to you, being a mere six weeks old. I love having you around--the wide-eyed faces and the cooing, grunting noises you make, the way your awareness seems to expand a little every week, along with the length and weight of your body. It's crazy how quickly a newborn changes. I try to enjoy each day with you and not let my petty, adult worries distract me too much. Just holding you to my chest, your warm head with its soft skin and fuzzy hair against my cheek, is so soothing. There is a power you as a newborn have, in that helplessness and innocence, which surely gives me a sense of place and purpose.