... so, as a follow-up to this "I like my kids" thing...
Here are some elements of my life that I hope I'll recover as the kids grow up:
* Quiet. I've been thinking a lot about this, as Michael and I debate whether or not to leave our apartment. It feels so loud where we live, right near a train. But, also, isn't life with young kids just inherently loud? I mean, Alice talks constantly. Barrow is laughing or crying a lot of the time. Their toys make SO MUCH NOISE. I'm looking forward to quiet, still mornings (if they ever exist again).
* Time for reflection. I found a journal of mine that I kept in my early 20s, where I wrote down quotes from books I had read, clips from magazines or newspapers, art. Flipping through those pages placed me back to my time in Greece in almost an instant. A time machine. I don't long for that stage in life, but I do hope one day there will be time for that level of commitment to inspiration, wherever it strikes.
* WORKING OUT. Nothing more to say about that, other than dear God I miss it.
* Romance. I miss that. Michael and I are really good CEOs of our household, and I couldn't ask for a better partner. I think we both long for more date nights, more time out with just the two of us, more time to talk about life beyond our apartment walls.
Some elements of life now for which I know I'll ache as they age:
* Alice insisting on closing the door for me every morning as I leave for work, yelling "LOVE YOU!" as I march down the stairs.
* Alice wanting to lay on the couch with me while I rub her hair and her back in the peace and quiet of the early morning.
* Barrow beaming when I go pick him up from his crib, thrilled to see me.
* Barrow, figuring out how one step goes in front of the other, how limbs work and why they are miraculous. Barrow being carefree and eager.
This week, I feel like I've been reminded just how much I actually like my kids.
Since, during the work week, we're often dealing with them during their worst part of the day -- just before bed -- it can be easy to forget how much fun they can be. We're often just trying to shuttle them from the dinner table to bed, fighting the clock to make sure they are at least in their bedrooms before the epic meltdowns begin. But this week, we were together during other portions of the day -- our nanny called out sick on Tuesday, so I spent most of the day with them. We had a blast -- shopping for new clothes at Old Navy, buying Alice new shoes at our local kids shoe store, and spending the afternoon at the playground. And, Michael has been out of town at a conference for work since Wednesday, so it's just been our little trio since then.
Both kids are really just lovely. Of course, they have their... challenging times. Alice has been mean to me from bathtime on every night this week. Barrow was up from 4 to 5:15 am crying relentlessly for no explicable reason ("I MISS MY DADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"). But, overall, they are just very happy, sweet little people.
Alice is so curious and funny. The other night, she was telling me how one girl in her old playgroup was "a little rude, you know?" (with eyebrows crunched together). And so she just didn't like hanging out with her, "because we don't act that way." Barrow is just a happy-go-lucky kid, easy to make smile and laugh. He figured out how to clap yesterday, and is just SO PROUD of himself. It's adorable and such a reflection of his personality - awestruck by it all. I love it.
So, that's the beautiful news from the week: I like my kids.
"But when she stepped off the train in New York, her plain little face looked beautiful for a moment, as if the future were opening before her and its glow were already upon her forehead, as if she were eager and proud and ready to meet it..."