In truth, it's an effort to find blessings right now. December wipes me out. And we haven't really had any kind of break to regroup for the new year. I am more tapped out than I've been for awhile. That solo trip to New Orleans to see an old friend can't come quick enough. (Next weekend!)
If I had a resolution for 2012, it'd be to focus a little bit on nourishment for me. I still have a business and two little kids and all that, but the cloud is lifting and it's theoretically possible for me to go running, go to the gym, get up early for a dawn cup of coffee, go to bed and sleep under a quilt for the whole night through. (I wouldn't have believed it, but those things... aren't possible with an infant). I've ordered my seeds and I went for a walk today (with Annaliese tucked in a stroller) and I am actually sitting on the couch tonight, ignoring the floors and the unfolded laundry. We're talking about hiring a house-cleaner. We're going on a date tomorrow night. Much to be excited about.
Tomorrow is my little girl's 4th birthday. Which means 4 years ago tonight was the last night I truly had to myself. I don't remember what I did. You never do.
Having children has been as mind-altering as people say it is. I think we take parenting too lightly; oh, get married, have a baby, nothing shocking there. When really, for me, it's been the first and just about sole thing I've ever done that has profoundly changed the fabric of my every waking minute in ways I don't always like and have no control over. I love my kids. But hell, it'd be nice to go to the bathroom by myself once in awhile.
Annaliese launched into this world as herself. She lifted her head five minutes after birth, shocking the midwives; she was immediately present in aw way I didn't appreciate until after I'd met more newborns. She was a pain. She didn't sleep. She saved her best side for strangers and social scenes. She never crawled. She once pooped so loud during church that the whole congregation turned to look at us. She was a baby and then she wasn't and now I can barely see the baby unless she is very deeplyasleep (which she does now!).
She is almost 4 and she is smart and interesting and a good sister. She is still social. She sleeps a lot better now, finally, just within the last 6 months, seldom instead of always waking at night.
Last weekend she came into our room after nap and I said, Annaliese, do you have bangs?
And she said, You were SUPPOSED to put the scissors. where I couldn't REACH them.
Then: my hair was in my face.
She did a pretty good job.
She is having her friends over for pancakes Saturday morning and they are all going to wear their pajamas. I am making carrot cake cupcakes. That's what I do for my kids and husband: bake whatever they want, even though I'm lousy at it.
I love her more than I could have ever imagined when she was my phantom girl child who would maybe have blue eyes and straight brown hair and who would never, ever be mouthy.
There are three of them in this house and more of them in Virginia and a handful on the East Coast. There are my fruit trees and my garden and the seeds in the mail. There is my new cook at the store and the shining copper counter in the early morning and the smell of fresh coffee and bread and the shining apple heaps. There is the mile I ran without stopping yesterday and the acorns I picked up on today's walk and the brown eggs my chickens are laying. There are three days in New Orleans next week. There is money in the bank and gas in the car and milk in the fridge.