Today is the first day of Autumn... And as the leaves begin to change and pumpkins and mums grace my front porch, I feel as though the season of my life is changing as well. Wow... that almost sounded profound. Don't get used to that. Ha!
For real though... When Chris started first grade a month ago, I was really feeling down. He's gone all day and life suddenly seemed different- and I almost didn't know how to deal with my new found freedom. But now that we're in the groove and have made our way into a routine, I'm embracing this new phase of my life as a mother... because whether we like it or not, Season's Change... and just like with the weather- how I hate the pool being closed and temperatures dropping, there are positives... and like they say- Attitude is Everything, so I'm embracing it all.
Some people bar-hop, but I, on the other hand, gym-hop. Since I'm shuttling Addie to preschool three times a week, I decided to join a gym by her school so maybe I'll actually use it. I was a member at this gym before (Fitness First) and used to go religiously every day. It was my sanity- I used every bit of the two hours they gave me and for the first time in my life loved taking classes. The membership coordinator was able to pull up my old account to see what I had been paying and my photo flashed on the computer screen. Yikes!!! I literally had a baby on my hip- Little Addie Tay-Tay was all of nine months old and I looked a hot mess. And it dawned on me how much my life has changed in those few short years... And it made me realize that there are things I'm thankful for with this stage of my life:
-I'm no longer the lady giving people a complete show as I walk into the gym. I used to have to tote a baby carrier, diaper bag, duffel bag (with everything under the kitchen sink so mama could get her shower for the day), and hold a toddler's hand- who would quite often find a way to dart in traffic despite my best efforts. I should have had my own sitcom.
-I don't miss making sippys, packing snacks, and making sure I had diapers and wipes. And I don't miss being called out of my exercise class for my baby. I remember an entire month straight- every time we got to the third song in spin class, Addie had a poopy diaper. It was no fail- and I would think to myself, "Why am I even trying?"... It's so nice to not have to worry when the nursery worker comes to the door... Now it's not my problem!
-I'm actually becoming more active. The kids are old enough to join me on Thursday nights at the ball field while I play on the family softball team. Yes, they often look like raga muffins, fall on the bleachers, and are being yelled at for stealing random people's sunflower seeds, but the grandparents are there to help watch them and they love all the attention. Last night for the first time all season I got a "real" hit and caught a ball. Too bad two runs scored while I was doing a celebratory dance because the ball went in my glove and I forgot to throw it in. I'm awful, but it feels nice to have some "adult" time and to get out of the house!
-Mommy, Schmommy. I heart my children more than life itself- and I know that Mommy and Me classes are supposed to promote bonding and all that jazz, but I am sooo happy to be out of the phase of Mommy and Me classes. I HATED singing songs and looking like a fool during class. I'd much rather "bond" during our private time than trying to fake a cute little mommy singing voice and pretend I know the words to silly songs. Addie has advanced to "real" gymnastics classes- And I'm totally digging giving her thumbs up and huge smiles through the glass window, and even more, I love to watch what a beautiful, little girl she's become. Not to mention, I've actually been able to read that Redbook magazine that I've been subscribing to for the past ten years.
-DVR. The.best.invention.ever. I'm able to get my children all snuggled into bed and enjoy the new season of fall t.v. Love it. Yes, I'm sad that Bachelor Pad is over, but Grey's is looking pretty promising... I remember when Chris was little I would let him stay up so late so I could watch my shows. Brendan was often traveling and a commercial was not long enough to get him down, so he was always my little sidekick- We'd have our favorite American Idol contestant every season... :)
So, Yes, life is a changing. But all those moments I was worried about my children not needing me as much now that they are getting older were just so wrong. Parenting is just beginning. I'm enjoying having time to take care of myself, and as much as I complain about the mess, I'm loving the smelly football gear, muddy softball cleats, and wet laundry that fill my mudroom every evening. And my new outlook is to cherish every moment, every breath, every stage, and every season, because it all goes by way too fast.