Sage and I spent the weekend at my parent's cabin in Northern Wisconsin. Sage was attending a LARP, conveniently located just a half-hour down the road. (What are the chances? We had to attend. Or so he convinced me.) When I wasn't shuttling him back and forth from the game I had a bit of quiet to dig in on a big project I have in the works. (More on that as soon. I promise!)
I'm not sure if Sage and I have ever wandered off for a weekend like this at the cabin before, just the two of us. And though he was busy with three long days of the game (plus needed rest and recuperation between), I thoroughly enjoyed the time we had together.
It had me remembering back to when it was so often just Sage and I. When he was a baby and a toddler, those were our days – just the two of us together, while Pete worked and before Lupine joined our family.
And I couldn't help but recall how difficult those days so often were. They were long and lonely days, indeed. And I remembered how stretched I felt; how disconnected I was from the identity I had built for myself before motherhood. In so many ways I felt lost, overwhelmed, and often alone.
And now life couldn't be more different.
Parenting these days is relatively easy. (Sure, we have our days. Who doesn't?) But overall I truly enjoy my kids and feel grateful for how our lives dovetail together so seamlessly, in learning, work, and play. Our lives lack the customary compartments of home and work, school and family. It's all one big mash-up of togetherness, and I'm grateful for that. It isn't always a breeze, but the overwhelming feeling is a positive one.
As for my kids, I enjoy who they have become. I love peering over their shoulder to witness how they see the world. I enjoy watching them navigate their lives, and see what makes them come alive. I feel honored to watch them grow, day after day, into adulthood.
During the weekend Sage and I told stores, cracked jokes, and sat by the river in silence. We remembered cabin visits from the past, and how saying goodbye to the river used to be so hard.
In short, we hung out together. Like old times. Except not.
Because now "hanging out together" is easy. Joyful. And yes, even relaxing.
Hang in there, parents of colicky, sensitive, high-needs babes. The payoff for those long days and longer nights will come – all that and then some. I promise you this.