24 July 2009

Life has, unsurprisingly, turned into a giant blur of newborn care: nursing, changing diapers, cleaning up spit-up, trying to scarf down half a sandwich before baby starts howling for yet more milk. I've been here twice before, but it's been 4 years since the last time and 5 years since the time before that and memories have a way of getting smoother around the edges as time marches on.

At the same time as I'm trudging through the trenches of bodily fluids, I'm watching a massive change take place in Nick. This winter, I started to see small bits of the pre-teen boy pushing their way through the little kid in him and all of a sudden over the past few weeks he's hit a new stride in his independence.

He's spent years (yes, years) trying to learn how to ride his two-wheeler. Actually, trying is not the right word. It was more avoiding and fighting and ranting about not being able to do it at the drop of a hat. And then suddenly last month something clicked and he got it. And he's been out there biking at all times of the day. In the yard, down the road, up and down bumps, around in circles while he stands on the frame. Yeah, he's my all or nothing kid.

And then the Green Shack programs started up for the summer. The city sets up small sheds in some of the local parks and fills them with craft supplies and sports equipment and a paid employee hangs out at the playground for something like 30 hours each week.

Green Shack program + Nick biking = a kid who is gone from the house every single hour that he can manage

He grabs a bag, puts in a water bottle and a hat and my phone, and he's gone. And he's loving it. There's a different glow about him, a different kind of inner peace and satisfaction that comes with taking on a new level of independence and thriving.

It's such a strange spot to be in, for me. I watch one child make a mighty leap forward while I start anew with another. I have moments of overwhelm with the tiny body that needs such constant care, and then I look at Nick and wonder how it is that the past almost 9 years have flown past.


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