Friday, June 29, 2012

Variety is the spice of life.

When I was a teenager, I had my tail in the road all the time.  Dad told me I was trying to drive the wheels off my car.  When I got a little older, a little more settled into being an adult I still wanted to be a goer and a doer.
Once we had kids I was all the sudden pretty content to stay home. A LOT.

Christian came home with us in January and I distinctly remember having a breakdown on Cinco de Mayo of that same year.  For at least seven or eight years prior to that, we had done some serious partying on that particular holiday.  I didn't want to stop that tradition just because I was a parent.  So, we packed it up and met the family at our Mexican restaurant of choice at the time.  Christian had just turned two, and as you can imagine he was not happy to be stuck in a high chair unless there was actually food in front of him.  It was crazy busy.  There was a long wait even after we got a table.  I'm glad I don't know what my blood pressure was at the time...  I remember that when we left there we had to stop at the store on the way home.  I stayed in the truck with Christian while Chris ran in for whatever it was that we needed.  By the time he came back out to take us home I was bawling.  I just couldn't imagine what I was going to do with myself- not to mention that I was pregnant which meant there was going to be another one!  I had wanted so badly to be a parent and now it was becoming crystal clear to me that I had no idea how to do it "right!" The thought of trying to take those two small children anywhere was so incredibly overwhelming!
I'm not the kind of person who is okay with children running amuck in a public place.  I had no intention then (nor do I now) of letting kids run around, crawl in the floor, or just eat the entire time we are in a restaurant.  We were not allowed to do that kind of stuff when Andrea and I were kids and I really do not enjoy being around when other families appear to be having a three-ring circus while I'm trying to have a drink or eat my dinner.  I also don't intend to take a giant bag of things to try to fill the time for them while we wait.  That's entirely too stressful.  It's just not me.
I want them to be well-balanced little people.  Little people that others enjoy being around.

Holy wow...what a tangent.

I started all that to say that I do enjoy being on the go, being with other people.  I also really enjoy being at home (in my pajamas if I feel so inclined) and having no place that I absolutely have to go.
I need some of both.
Variety is good.  Balance is better.

Having both kids at home with me all the time this summer has made for an interesting shift in my planning.
I want to be with them.  I want to do fun things!  I want to discover joy and share it with them in going and doing, but also in just being home.  We have been to the zoo, several parks, Woody's, and the pool.  We've washed the van, played in the hose, and been berry picking.
But we've also stayed home.  By that I mean that I've said to them, "go play; you your room?  where your toys are?"
They aren't loners by nature.  They aren't the kind of kids who just play quietly in their rooms for hours at a time.  Honestly, I don't want them to be.  I want them to enjoy spending time with me, with family, with friends.  All that said, I don't want them to think that someone has to entertain them every waking moment of the day.  Although, they'd love that.  

There's no one answer for parenting.  We are trying different roads all the time.  The lovely thing is that if the road we're on isn't taking us where we want to go, we can turn around and go back or just find a brand new road altogether.  I'm pretty thankful for that.

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