My trip to California was fabulous. Well, minus the Continental Airlines staff at the Oakland Airport. I’m still deciding if I’m going to post all the details of their shenanigans; it’s completely mind-boggling what little regard they have for their travelers as *individuals* with *individual* needs. Argh.
It was definitely the highlight of the trip to introduce Elijah to my sisters and to have my parents spend more time with him. My sister Chris declared that she was “smitten.” It was truly crazy how my often fussy boy became a TOTAL ANGEL during the entire length of my visit to California. My parents kept kidding that I’m a big fibber on this blog. I can’t possibly blame them – he was perfectly charming to everyone (strangers included!), flashing smiles and cooing coos and tilting his head into an “aw shucks” pose every other moment. He even slept well! Insane!! I kept looking at him and thinking “WHO IS THIS BABY??” I had just as much fun as everyone else did discovering his personality. It was such a breath of fresh air.
Here’s a photo that epitomizes his mood for FIVE WHOLE DAYS:
And then? And then we had to come home.
I should have known by his behavior on the flight home. He was fussy and fitful and impossible to please. Everyone around me was very nice and patient (thank you for that!). He slept “alright” the night we got home, and when we woke up the next morning, it seemed he was back to same ol’ high-needs child.
It sent me into a bit of a funk to have him switch back like that. Until I realized that it wasn’t HIM who changed in California. It was ME. I was relaxed and focused and totally able to tune in to JUST ELIJAH. How nice that must have been for him! And although my husband and kids left the house in decent condition, there were still things I needed to jump right back into doing once we got home. Groceries, dishes, bills. You know…LIFE. Which left Eli sitting in the Exersaucer a little longer than he may have liked, or playing on the floor with toys that I just kept kicking over to him as I buzzed around the living room. He screamed and hollered for a good while at bedtime until I just gave in and made my husband deal with it. I went and buried my head in my pillow, falling quickly into a mean sleep.
Yesterday, when it wasn’t feeling so fresh, I decided that I need to come up with a better plan. Ok, so my baby would prefer to be an only child. Sorry, kiddo, that ship has sailed. So what now? You’d like a Mommy who isn’t such a stressball? Maybe I can do something about that. How do I translate the relaxation I felt in California to the life I have here in Texas? (A life I have CHOSEN, by the way, and that I really do love.) I need to make wise choices about how to spend the wealth of my time. I need to strive for balance every day. It requires a lot of thinking, sometimes some planning, and a whole lot of praying on my part. That’s the only way I know how to do it.
Coming home hasn’t just been made difficult by the changes in baby and I – it’s also been hard to be so far away from family again. And it’s been hard to be placed back into such a different environment than what I’ve known on the West Coast. Can I just tell you?-Sonoma is BEAUTIFUL this time of year. It made my stomach ache. It’s so hard to make these choices that help your family, help your future, and hurt your heart. It just stinks. But it is what it is, and while I’m trying to change my perspective on who I need to be for my family (ie: less stressed!), I’m also trying to change my perspective on what it means to me to live here.
It was great to see family and friends – really great. It was good to think quiet thoughts and look at my baby from a distance. It nourished my soul to see those green, rolling hills and miles of blooming vineyards. I did take one long nap there – the kind of nap where you wake up just enough to realize you’re napping, and then you happily fall back into a luscious sleep. It was all good, and I’m grateful.
And now it’s time to rediscover all the things to be grateful for right here in my own home.