Here we are, being a family, in our own color coordinated and clumsy way. The older I get the more I learn it is the only thing really worth being in this wacky and wonderful world. I'm completely shattered by these people by the end of the day. I wake daily to the sensation that I've stumbled upon a humming hive of needy bees. They swarm and sting. Yet, I'm addicted to the honey. It is pure and sweet. It goes on everything and changes flavor according to the season.
We, as a family, are leaving a season know as Babyland. You know Legoland and how boring it can truly be. Then there's Disneyland, the magical place. There's the Playland at a place we try not to mention or patronize which is smelly and inexplicably alluring to the 6 and under set. None of these Lands compares to Babyland. Babyland is not boring, but actually keeps you up nights, many many nights. It is also magical, in a tight-fisted, wrinkly, miraculous sort of way. Then, there are the diapers and the sippies, both of which can put forth out-of-this world smells leaving you longing for the Exit from such a pollution-ridden Land. It is a Land that teaches somehow in a way that no other place or time or book or experience can teach.
I have two dear friends. Sara and Sarah. They both gave birth the end of last month. Sarah had a boy, named Eli. Sarah had a girl named Ivy. These are also the names of my Sister Ashley's two children! I'm completely smitten by them, more than I ever have been by a baby other than my own. I watch as their parents enter that heady stage of sleep-deprived delirium, that is sweet, in it's own season. I watch in awe, not envy. I'm in awe of parents who do the hardest thing.
I know we are leaving this season of Babyland, because of Avery. Because at 2 years and 7 months, she knows that a diaper doesn't cut it. She slinks off uncharacteristically to do her business in private and then timidly tiptoes to tell me that "I need to change my diaper, Mom." I'm a self-professed Anti-Potty Trainer, so I don't complain, but I urge her to try to do this deed in the sanitary confines of the toilet. She replies,
"But, mom, the sanitary confines of the toilet is so much more work, than...well, wherever I happen to be at the decisive moment."
No. She does not say that. She warns, instead (as I clean the mess of my 435,981 diaper) "Don't eat my poopy diaper, Mom!"
As I take Ms. Avery's sound SOUND advice, I offer you mine:
Be a family. And enjoy every season, even the boring, stinky ones. Look fondly and wisely on the Lands in which you've lingered, and watch with wonder as the future frontiers unfold.
See where you are, love where you're going.
*photos by AFM Photography