We tried an experiment last night. Ted was away, and I took Hazel and went down to my sister’s house, leaving the twins in the care of one of our babysitters. She’s put them down for naps and bedtime before, but they’ve never had 24 hours without either of us. It was a success. Emily did cry/scream when it was time to go to sleep, but H was able to calm her down. And when I got home this afternoon after running some errands, they stayed in her lap and didn’t come over to me immediately, which means that they’ve gotten even more comfortable with her. That’s really great. It gives us another resource and more flexibility.
Hazel and her cousin had a good time, too. Shortly after we arrived at my sister’s house, we took the girls to a local gymnastics joint, and they played hard for a couple of hours while G and I had dinner together. That was lovely for all concerned. While there, I realized that I will finish my Whole30 month at the end of Monday. It’s been something of a challenge, but not so bad, and I’m glad I did it. I’m not going to entirely stick with it after that, but I’m going to stick more closely to it than I had gotten in recent months.
Hazel slept on an air mattress under her cousin’s loft bed. S (cousin, using a different name from the B she was being called before) read to her, and told her a story. They got to sleep a bit late, but not too bad, and they slept until sometime after 6 am, also not too bad. That’s also the first time we’ve done that, and it is a step toward greater flexibility as well. We’re looking forward to when S and Hazel can spend the night at each other’s houses as a matter of course. It gives us more options.
This morning, when we were leaving, around 10:45 am, Hazel and S agreed that it felt like they’d only had an hour together. They did well. There was very little squabbling, and they were mostly kind and loving with each other. And I got to get some sister time. All good.
This afternoon I had a quartet rehearsal. The Prokofiev is starting to sound musical. We’re definitely a lot further along than we were when we started. We’re rehearsing again tomorrow morning. My babysitter said she heard a lot of laughter when we were rehearsing. And it’s true, we have a good time. That is but one reason why I love my quartet.
Tonight my friend P came over, and participated in dinner & bedtime with the kids, after which we talked for a while. I am fortunate to have so many great friends, with whom conversation can be stimulating, illuminating, supportive, and interesting. One nugget from tonight is the idea that we are all connected. And we are. I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a rocker of boats; why I have resisted doing things that rocked the boat (or might rock the boat) in the past; the difference between principled action which ends up rocking the boat and action done purely for the sake of boat rocking. One of my self development tasks has been to cultivate being thoughtful about the impact I can have on others, while centering my actions in my values and taking responsibility for what I need and what I do.
Another task which is up for me right now is being present in the moment. This is something I sometimes really struggle with, particularly as a parent. The small amount I’ve been learning about meditation makes me think that rather than meditation being something apart from life, it is something which shows this most basic life challenge in sharp relief: it is challenging to focus on and engage with the present moment with all sorts of other things clamoring at the gates demanding entrance to your mind and heart.
Gratitude, as always, goes a long way toward bringing peace.