We made it to our first storytime at Family Connections this morning. (Family Connections is a nonprofit resource center for families with young children. It's super cool from what I can tell. My friend Morgan works at the library there.) We hadn't made it until today because storytime takes place at 10 a.m. and Eamon's morning nap usually conflicts. But today he was up at 5:30 (ugh), which meant he went down for his nap at 8:00 and was up in time for us to nurse and go. There were lots of kids (from tiny infants to kindergarten age) and parents. I'd say the average age was two to three. The group was pretty diverse (for Austin), which was cool. After living in DC for six years (TJ for ten), Austin seemed freakishly white to us at first. The actual stories and even the songs were lost on Eamon for the most part, but the people-watching was great (for both of us), and he seemed to enjoy himself.
Many of the moms there had two or three kids. Several were nursing a baby while tending to an older child/children as well. I could not take my eyes off these moms. They are in a totally different place than I am, and I'm very aware of that. I wish I could be a fly on their walls and see what their days are like. One mom in particular caught my eye. She had two boys who looked to be around five and three, and a gorgeous baby girl who appeared to be around six months and was wearing a onesie that had clearly been handed down by her brothers. The mom was sporty looking, tan and in shape (this seems important somehow), and seemingly happy and relaxed. She was sitting with one arm around each boy, holding them close, while the baby played on the floor in front of them. I guess I tend to think of moms with more than one young child as being stressed out, exhausted, impatient, and having to discipline constantly. It freaks me out. So it was nice to see some positive images that contradict the ones in my head.
I left feeling very conscious of all the focus that is on Eamon. He's our one and only right now, and he has our undivided attention. We're so in love with him, we've turned into babbling idiots. I notice and think about and scrutinize everything he does and everything I do for him. Our life revolves around him completely. I'm compulsive about updating this blog, downloading and sorting all the pictures we take of him, ordering prints and putting them into albums and labeling them, filling in his baby journals, etc. I realize that contrary to how it feels at times, I actually have a lot of time and space and freedom. Our life is very quiet and organized. I know it won't always be this way, so I'm glad to have this time, but I also look forward to Eamon having a brother or sister. I'm just grateful for the gradual way life with our first baby has unfolded. You're thrown in the deep end at first (to put it mildly), no matter how experienced you are with other people's babies, but then you slowly get your bearings. You slowly get a little more sleep, start to feel more human, more like yourself. They change, and you change with them, and soon you're a master at doing things you had no idea how to do a few months earlier. You reach a new normal at some point, a normal that would've been incredibly hard in your previous life but is just . . . life now, a life you wouldn't trade for anything. I suppose the same thing happens when you have additional babies--you reach a new normal. I've heard it can take a full year after your second. I'm content right now to watch others figure out that juggling act. I've got my beautiful little man, and to be honest, almost eight months into it, it's still sinking in that he's really here.