3.12.2007

Funk, Be Gone!

The last several weeks have been long and rather dark. A nasty cold made its way through our house, starting with Theo, moving on to Nate and Simon, and finally finding me. As I said, it was a heinous cold, and it led to our boys having their first ear infections. That's right --- two ear infections at the same time. Those were a couple of exhausting days. Thankfully, everyone is healthy now. And it's spring!!!

I could not be more happy about the seasons changing. I've been in a bad place lately, in a bit of a funk. I know it's been eight months since the move, and you all have listened to me complain about leaving Chicago many, many times. But, for unknown reasons, I have been pining for the city lately. I miss the boulevards, the parks, the air, the light. I feel incredibly painful nostalgia for our old routines... walking to the store, the park, or the library, letting Simon run free in Palmer Square, stopping by Miko's for a sweet treat, driving down Fullerton.

Along with this nostalgia comes some guilt, because, of course, all of these activities involved only one child. I love Theo. Yet I long for the time before he was born. How can I reconcile those feelings? What I miss, I think, is the carefree nature of the days before two children. And, despite loving the heck out of this new little boy, we haven't figured out how to recapture that easygoing rhythm to our days. Instead of walks and frolicking sessions, the days seem to fill up with meals, naps, diaper changes, etc.

There is no doubt that caring for two children is considerably harder than caring for one. But I think part of my problem is that I am not very flexible. Admittedly, I am obsessed with proper naps for the little one. And keeping the boys out past their 7 pm bedtime will put my stomach in knots. But sticking to such a strict schedule doesn't leave a lot of room for the spontaneous family activities I yearn for. I think I'm either going to have to schedule things like family walks, or I'm going to have to loosen my grip on the structure of our days. Or maybe I'll do some of both.

Today I knew we had to get outside. The sun was shining and I think it was 60 degrees or maybe warmer. I rushed around to get everybody ready to go out immediately after Theo woke from his morning nap. I had to pack quite a load of goods... it was 12 noon by the time we left, so I had to pack snacks and drinks for everybody. But all the hassle was WELL WORTH IT. We had an amazing walk. If I'd had a time-lapse camera set on Simon, I think I would've captured him growing a few centimeters, blooming in the sunshine after months of being cooped up. Theo sat up in the stroller for the first time, and babbled happily as long as his chariot was in motion. I felt relieved, elevated, invigorated.

During the funk of the past few weeks, Nate and I talked through my feelings, as is our way. He kept suggesting that maybe it wasn't so much pining for our lost city as it was a nasty case of cabin fever. After our walk today I think he may have been onto something.


Next up: Dinosaur Party! Saturday is the big 4th Birthday celebration. I'll report back, with loads of pictures, for sure.

4 comments:

Banana Mama said...

Laura,

I found that I had to reconcile the bad (dead dad), love it as part of my life, before I could really move on and reconcile the good (new son). It's been a process that isn't complete, but taking some steps have made life easier. It's no easy task. I'm sorry for the loss of your wonderful Chicago life.

I'm glad you're getting outside. The spring can do wonders! I really hope to see you soon and enjoy the outside with you. Tomorrow Sam should know when we can come. Enjoy the weather. I can't wait to see you all.

Janna

Angela said...

Ditto banana mama's words plus some of my own here: Even in the land of Chicago for which you pine, there was a nasty winter that kept the people cooped up. Now we too are working on be-gone-ing our funks. Good luck in be-gone-ing yours as we work on ours!!! Oh! And now that spring is here, the Seeleys have eyes for Bloomington...

Colin Hughes Taylor said...

right there with you, L-Train.
Also, I noticed (for the first time!) your old apartment on Kedzie today, walking by to get some coffee, and was hit by a pang of loving nostalgia. Those stripes!

Of course, if you painted over the stripes, then I'm totally wrong. But I'm pretty damn sure it was your old place.
And I'm pretty damn sure that the new tenants can't hold a candle to the Sliger-Hartrich brigade.

MJ Watson said...

I feel entirely the same way. Yet it is funny, as I'm sure it won't be long before we are lamenting the days when our boys were but babes as we watch them grow up into men. We will talk about how precious they were, how small and beautiful. And while these days are, without question, precious, they are also exceedingly strict and demanding.

The pace of life with 2 children is extraordinarily different from that with just 1, especially if that 1 has some modicum of independence. This for me was, and is, a very difficult realization. I am still overcome by it. And while I am failing at giving you any sense of hope, at least know you are not alone.