I’ve been suffering a bit of writer’s block lately, but not for reasons you might expect. It’s not that I have nothing to say, but too much. My mind is racing of late with ideas, snippets, small iotas of information that I feel are worth sharing, but I don’t know how to organize these jumbled ideas into any sense of cohesive writing. So instead of waiting for it to all make sense, I’ll just share with you these tidbits and hope you can string some meaning from them.
Part I: Quinn
Quinn celebrated his first birthday just before Christmas and has radically changed before my eyes. There’s a moment that parents experience when they suddenly look at their babies and wonder when they grew up so quickly. I had that first moment with Quinn the other day. He’s just…bigger, you know? He’s alert and responsive. He’s starting to become more mobile and has found a way to wiggle himself across the living room floor. I won’t call it crawling just yet, but it’s close. He’s responding to signs and interacting more with us. He’s eating like a horse. Seriously, this kid can put food away. He loves to read books and actually cries when they’re over. The first time I witnessed this happen, I thought it was a fluke or that I had smacked his face with the stiff cardboard cover, but by the third time he screamed bloody murder when the story ended, I realized it’s not from pain, but anger. Clearly, he also has a penchant for the dramatic. But I can’t fault him for it; he is my son, after all. And I’m immeasurably proud of his love for the written word/pictures of cows.
Part II: Atticus
This kid is really blossoming into one of the kindest, most selfless children I have ever known. I knew some of Brian’s personality would show up sooner or later, but I wasn’t expecting it until well after puberty (boys will be boys and all that). And that’s not to say that he isn’t wild at times. He definitely has his moments where the world is falling apart because we ran out of Goldfish, but for the most part we hear a lot of “may I please?” and “thank you, Mommy” and “excuse me.” He also loves his little brother. He absolutely adores him. Those two share a bond that I never knew could exist in children so young, and when I pick them up from school and they see each other after a long day apart, they both light up and fall into fits of giggles. It’s a pretty special thing to witness. Atticus is also a born entertainer. His dance skills are unparalleled, and he can chatter away for what seems like hours. If you try to simply nod and say, “oh, really?” and “mmm-hmmm” he’ll actually call you on it. “Don’t say, ‘okay’ Mommy. I telling a story!” He demands legitimate analysis of his tales. While exhausting, I know this will translate into something very special as he gets older.
Forgive the abysmal quality of this video. I think you'll find it's still worth watching.
Part III: New Year’s Resolutions
Brian and I sat down recently to take stock in our current situation. Since moving to Houston, we’ve basically been in survival mode. But now the dust is settling, the boys are becoming less demanding of our time, and we’ve had a chance to really ask ourselves some important questions: are we happy? What can we do to improve ourselves and our surroundings? One this is certain: West Houston is wearing us down. We are out of our element and missing the quirkiness of our former urban environment. We are not suburban people. We miss our previous abundance of like-minded people, and, in the process of considering the kids’ educational futures (Atticus will be in kindergarten before we know it), it’s time for us to evaluate whether or not we’re in the right place. So we’ve decided to give it another year. Next spring, we’ll sit down and make the final decision to either stay put or move elsewhere. In the mean time, we both decided some other things need to happen to improve our current lot:
1. More travel: the kids are finally old enough to try camping, road trips, and long weekend getaways. This will happen more in 2014.
2. Better habits: the typical resolution to eat better, exercise more, reach for that bottle of wine less. Seriously, this baby weight is slow to go the second time around. And I'm pretty sure my metabolism is broken.
3. More spontaneous outings: I want to wake up on Saturday mornings, turn to Brian, and say, “let’s go to the museum” and actually see it happen. We can make excuses to laze around in our pajamas all day, but it won’t do much to help our quest for happiness. Houston has a lot to offer, after all, from museums to hiking trails to daytrips to the beach.
4. Wave my freak flag: In an effort to “fit in” to our aforementioned suburban surroundings, I’ve toned down my crunchy granola identity. This is a very conservative community, after all, and I don’t want to offend the masses with my liberal ideas. And damn if it isn’t killing my spirit. I’m tired of pretending to be someone I’m not or holding my tongue when someone says something that offends me. But I also don’t want to be “that girl” who is combative at every turn. I need to find the balance between dissident and doormat before I lose my mind.
Part IV: Brian
Today is Brian’s birthday. So to finish this post, I want to take a moment to thank my most incredible
husband and tell him why he’s so awesome:
husband and tell him why he’s so awesome:
You are my rock. You are my favorite person. You are my best friend. We’ve spent the last few years reeling between utter joy and complete desolation, but we’ve done those things together, clinging to each other for comfort in the dark times, and as a partner in crime for the brighter days. I wouldn’t choose to live my life any other way. I’m still as madly in love with you as I was when we fell for each other on that Cayman beach over 10 years ago. I’m so glad you were born. I’m so glad I get to wish you a happy birthday every year. I’m so glad we’ve built a life together. I’m so glad such a kind, intelligent, and smoking-hot man has the patience to deal with my crazy. Happy birthday, love. Here’s hoping 33 is the best year yet! I can think of no one who deserves it more.