Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tiptoes

So, we are tiptoeing around here. Ok, I am. And by that I mean that we are gingerly tiptoeing our way through the adjustment process, blundering here and there but making tiny steps forward.

Yes, I am mostly talking about me {duh, of course}, but really it does all apply to the whole family. Because make NO mistake, anytime you add a child the entire family has to morph and stretch and pull and squish over to make room. And I know, they tell you this in the books and so on. But really, it's just so much different living it and then again, living it adjusting to the push/pull, embrace/release, with an older child. {And I know that I've whinged on about this weird twilight zone time of transition already...and it's so different from last year's transition with Gabey as a toddler...but since we are still in the throes of it, well, you are too! Because that's what this blog is babeee...if it's on my mind, it's on blog. }

This transition time is something that can't be totally described with precise instructions and or diagrams...but wouldn't that be great if it could?!
Imagine: "Instructions: 7. Try to understand when new child retreats behind headphones or to bed early. It's probably just a small bout of overwhelmed and needing space."
Or, "12. When two teens try to share a bathroom, particularly if both are female, adjustments in timing will need to be made on all sides. This might take some preplanning and/or extra clocks, strategically placed. Consider investing in extra hair products and towels."


So, without said instructions, we are trying not to bruise too many shins or hearts or heads along the way, even as we clumsily tiptoe toward a new normal for our family.

Buddybug left for college again, which was a sad day and a sad weekend, especially for Marta and I (ok, a bunch of us). But it seems that just-about-daily phone calls help, especially if that call can be via Skype. And even though Marta is still not speaking much English at all, it is getting slightly less strange overall. I can ask for help in setting the table or taking this plate over to the baby and M understands and so somehow, it feels like we are communicating. School is the main event of the day for us all; for the kids who go out of the house to school and for the kids at home. This is allowing me to really work intensively with both Sbird and Marta and I think it's showing a benefit in both of them, at the very minimum they seem to do well with the extra mom time.

And I guess, really, that's the biggest change. Ssshhhhhh. I don't want to say it too loud. But then again, we Catholics don't believe in superstition, so that whole "jinx" it concept shouldn't apply.

But, I'll say it out loud
(not shouting yet tho) I am moving into a new mom spot. One that is not having to scooch over so much for a "new kid" but is instead moving more into the reflex of "one of the kids." Soon?...I pray, for the fierce deep feeling (I know, it's not about the feelings, but I crave them)....."My girl." I am not totally there yet, we need oodles and oodles of time. But the one on one during the day is helping ease off some of the stiffness and strangeness for each of us. And for me, that is huge! Call me stiff, call me cold, you could and you'd be right. Mea culpa. And I hate learning that about myself (tho some might not be surprised, Nancy, I know).

Perhaps the biggest surprise and disappointment to me this go-round is that this is all taking unexpected time for me to feel normal and for the family to feel normal {Right, patience is obviously not one of my virtues}. Because we are not, not "normal" {Read: the old normal}, anymore. We need the time to make it through to the new normal.

And we are NOT there yet, but in a way, if I stretch my neck I think I might be able to see it on the horizon. And even being able to know it can maybe get there, helps my steps be more sure. And as my steps stop faltering, become more sure...as I smile and tease and trim hair and high five, then everyone else's steps also stop shuffling and stalling. I don't have to tiptoe around the pitfalls of presumptions and gaps and fear and otherness quite as much. And that makes everything better, for us all. I've never been one for toe shoes...too clumsy. So, I hope I'm done tiptoeing and can now just keep trying to walk forward, with the whole family, to a new normal that feels just right.

6 comments:

Ryane said...

Love this, M. and really love the pictures. Praying for all of you as you find your new normal. love, ryane

Nadja Magdalena said...

Great photos. Oh, that electric smile of Marta's!

We, too, are going through an adjustment of sorts, getting used to the "New Normal" with another baby...

Jen said...

Who said you can't learn to dance at our age? :) Beautiful post. Praying, always.

The Albertsons said...

do you see how she's looking adoringly at you in that picture??? she adores you... you're her mama... wow...

Sarah and Davis said...

Thanks for sharing this, Coffee Mom! We are praying about adopting an older child and we are following your story. Thanks for your candor and insight.

kristine said...

This is very moving. Thank you for opening up your heart like this. It's a blessing to be able to read it.