Hitting Our Stride

December 4th, 2008 by Rainey

One of the most treasured assurances that Conan and I received before we brought home our little bundle of joy was, “It just keeps getting more and more fun.”  Our friends told us that though some people romanticize the baby stage, the real fun comes as you watch your children grow and as your relationship deepens and widens.  As the night fell that first month and the tears came for no reason, I held onto the glimmer of hope that it would get better.  I would begin to have fun.  That parenting would not always be so overwhelming for this type-A perfectionist who had suddenly found herself in situations she could not control, much less in which she could excel.

Now, I am sure it will all change almost immediately after I write this post.  But, as Zeke’s first birthday rapidly approaches, Conan and I feel like we are finally hitting our parenting stride.  Zeke has always been a handful.  He is a high energy, spirited little kid and has been since exiting the womb.  Except for that blissful first week of sleeping all the time, he has been go-go-go.

He can walk now.  He sometimes takes off in an almost gallop.  And he initiates and plays games like “peek-a-boo” and “i like to shut the door and then open it to find you…for 30 minutes straight” and “i will run away from you squealing and laughing when you come toward me with tickles.”  He is seriously hilarious.

And he is so sweet!  He has taken to hugging all his little classmates at school.  To the point where they are probably like, “Dude, back off.”  And hugging his teachers, his grandparents, his aunt, etc.  And hugging us.  He likes to squeeze you around the neck while patting you on the back.  It is very endearing.

All of a sudden we just are enjoying parenting in a whole new way.  We are beginning to see this personality emerge and develop.  We are watching him learn and process new ideas and try to integrate these new skills into his play.

We have our routines.  They have lent some semblance of order to what are, admittedly, pretty disorderly lives.  That is just the nature of raising children, I think.  And having two parents who work full time.  In the evenings we eat dinner together and play.  And then Conan goes upstairs to draw Zeke’s bath while I strip him and sing little songs.

But routines are made to be broken.  And Zeke wiggles out of my arms and waddles to the bathroom door in nothing but a diaper to see his dad sitting on the edge of the tub.  He raises his arms and shrieks in glee, careening towards him to be swept up into a hug.  I just look at him and laugh and am filled with love and thankfulness.  Because our lives have been totally changed by this little creature.  And we are learning that even as we are shaping him and helping him learn and grow, he is shaping us and molding us as well.

This has been a challenging year, from the ppd to the work/baby balancing act.  It has involved all sorts of  new transitions and responsibilities as Conan and I figure out what it means to be parents.  But as we near the end, I can’t help but look forward to all the changes and wonder this little child is going to bring us in the years to come.

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