I finished sanding and stripping ONE dining room chair. I stood in Home Depot, by myself, for 15 minutes pondering the various staining options this morning. Huh. I think I want something light, but what if the wood isn't in good enough condition and it looks bad? The blog survey says I should do light. But all this light stain looks oak-y. Even the clear looks oak-y. I don't know if I like oak. Maybe I should just pick something darker to match the walnut island in the kitchen? And the table. The table is dark. Maybe I should pick something dark. A store employee comes by and, in an uncharacteristic fashion, I dump all my ponderings on him.
"Well," he asks, "What kind of wood is it? Is it a soft wood? Here's a prestain formula to bring out the grain and prevent blotchiness in old wood."
I pick up the can and read the back while he quickly escapes this indecisive customer. The can says, USE CAUTION WHEN SANDING OLD FURNITURE. SANDING MAY RELEASE LEAD DUST. I feel rather ill. I'm done sanding, I tell myself. No more chair sanding. But I still don't know what stain I want for my ONE chair, so I walk out of the store empty-handed.
I focus on the positive. The whole experience: standing in the store, pondering for 15 minutes, chatting with an employee, and then walking out of the store undecided: it felt luxurious. Like, what mother of young children has time to act this way? In my life over the last five years, there are always kids to attend to, always things to be cleaned and meals to be made. But not today. Who has time to act this way? I do, I whisper to myself. *I* have time. *I* can be indecisive.
This summer we managed a pretty good pace of activity. There were still a couple of days in there when the boredom reached the danger zone. But for the most part, I felt like the boys played together a lot. They've gotten very good at togetherness and it makes my heart happy. Noah managed to have enough time and space doing his own thing with his own friends. There was a good variety of visitors; from grandparents to colleagues to friends. And there was a good amount of traveling. Fritz and I squeezed in TWO adult only trips. (Yay!) And somehow, more or less, the summer felt balanced and good and right.
We all adapted to the new school year routine around here with relative ease. It makes me quite proud, really: Noah is in Kindergarten for 7 hours a day. We worried that he would be exhausted, but so far he seems to find school a source of strength and focus. He both goes to school and comes home with confidence and I spend a lot of my time nodding my head and thinking, yes, he was ready.
Mattias started a two morning a week parents day out program – an opportunity that snuck up on us midsummer. Originally, I planned to keep him home with me. I was looking forward to the one-on-one time with him. Potty training! Undo some big brother influences! Also, Mattias is enormously easy for me to spend time with; he's got a great balance of independence and imagination. Why, last week I cleaned out my closet while he played. Productive work while child minding?! It struck me as a truly amazing feat, one that never would have been accomplished had it been just Noah and I. Nonetheless, the PDO program is turning out to be a good thing: Mattias loves the opportunity to have his own special activity. And I get a bit of time completely to myself (in Home Depot). There's still plenty of time for one-on-one. We'll start potty training any day now.
But then, maybe when things start seeming too luxurious, I subconsciously stir them back up? That's the only way I can describe how I find myself pregnant again. Because I was really okay with two kids. I think/thought I was, anyway. Babies are a lot of work. Babies make lead dust and solo trips to Home Depot a big problem. I really love my 2 year old and 5 year old. I love being able to hold conversations with them. I love their independence. I don't have that ache in my arms to hold another baby. These seem like insensitive and selfish things to type. If life were like playing cards, I can think of many people I would willingly swap cards with. (Thank you, Rooth, for the analogy.) And I have to tell you honestly, I was okay, as it was.
I'm still okay. I am. I'm just...I'm adjusting. I am, slowly, carefully. I'll be ready by the time the baby comes. It's early. Only six weeks: I still need to have a doctor to confirm. When I told Fritz that I was going to go internet public, he reminded me of all the things that can go wrong in the first trimester. But I think, at this point in my life, the possibility of sad and tragic outcomes have stopped holding my tongue. If I'm a human potion bottle - I can't possibly keep one more tainted ingredient bottled up.
So, instead, I'm just opening up and telling you: I'm pregnant. Fritz is thrilled (having always wanted three). I'm adjusting and feeling generally nauseated from morning sickness. The boys are mostly still oblivious (although we did tell them). Sometimes, when you have two of the same gender, people presume you are trying for a different gender. No. We're not 'trying' for a girl. (I'm rather hoping for a boy, because, I think I've got the boy-thing figured out. A girl sounds like too much new territory.)
I've always thought one of the drawbacks of the first trimester is that your body goes through so much adjustment. And mostly you go through it alone; because social conventions say: we don't talk until 16 weeks. I'll never forget standing on the UBahn in Germany, feeling very ill, and just wanting to sit down. But who knows you're pregnant at 6 weeks? Nobody. So nobody offered me a seat and I stood there, trying not to throw up on the people sitting below me. It was miserable. In spite of the fact I was very happy to be pregnant. Later, when I was 36 weeks pregnant, and people jumped from their seats to offer me a space to sit on the UBahn, all I could think was: I really wish I'd had this opportunity at 6 weeks.
Which is another reason why, this time around, I'm doing things a little differently.