The horror unfolding at Penn State has crept under my skin a little...that and the seemingly endless stories in the news of missing babies/kids. It makes me want to keep my kids within arms' length at all times and the world just seems a little more threatening lately. There was a brief moment last weekend where I couldn't find Brighton anywhere in the house...I knew the likelihood of her being truly missing was remote but the few minutes I couldn't find her were torturous (she ended up being in Pacey's room with the door closed).
I guess that's the thing about having kids. The magnitude of what you'd lose if anything ever happened to them is staggering. I've written before about how overwhelming the responsibility of keeping them safe feels at times and nothing I read about in the news lately makes me feel any better about the world we're supposed to be preparing them to live in.
See? Kind of a downer.
It's not all doom and gloom though. We're preparing for the winter ahead, and I am looking forward to certain parts of it. I'm enjoying the earlier evenings...the nightly routine of closing the blinds, lighting a fall-scented candle and starting dinner. Soon we'll start building fires in the fireplaces and watching the snow fall from the hot tub. This weekend we'll have our first traditional English roast dinner of the season with good friends.
Perhaps the most exciting thing to look forward to is a visit from my sister and her family in December. It will definitely mitigate a lot of the sting of not having family or friends around for Thanksgiving. I can't wait to see the kids with their cousin.
It seems like every stage of children's development has its unique challenges, and sometimes I forget to appreciate the hurdles we've crossed. Like physical pain, it never seems as bad when it's gone. But in the spirit of trying to inject a little more positivity into my psyche, I'm going to acknowledge some of the things I'm really grateful NOT to be experiencing anymore.
- I'm really glad that neither of my children poops at night and then removes their diaper prior to my getting them up in the morning anymore. Baths first thing in the morning are no fun.
- I'm really glad we're past the putting-things-in-mouths stage. Pacey got a marble run for his birthday and, while I prefer that it be a supervised activity, I'm not too freaked out that someone's going to put marbles in their mouth.
- I'm really glad my kids can chew tablets instead of having syringes of Tylenol/Motrin. Boy do I hate having that sticky sh*t spit all over me.
- It's really nice to only have one child's nap to plan our days around, and even then we can get away with skipping it every now and then.
- I'm happy that we can occasionally stay out past the kids' bedtime by a couple of hours without any massive consequences.
- I'm grateful that at least 50% of the time now the kids can articulate what they want or need (even if they can't have it). The guessing game is so hard, especially when you're doing it through screams.
Anyone want to tell me a story about an amazing act of humanity that made you feel good about the world? I could use a boost.