Saturday, April 06, 2013

It's almost too much to hope that spring has come

I went outside without a coat today. Now, my children have been wearing shorts and t-shirts outside every since the mercury went above 40, but I can't do that. I get too cold. It's probably because of my formative years being spent living in a desert. But today I skipped the coat, though I was still wearing a wool cardigan.

It was lovely to be outside and think about what to plant and do some cleaning up. I realized that it was the first time in a couple of years that I have interest in making our yard look nice. I know I didn't last year at all. This tells me a couple of things. First, that life must not feel terribly out of control. I know when it does, everything but the most vital of activities goes by the wayside. And with my, ahem, stellar plant growing abilities, anything involving plants is the first thing to go... if it even made it on the list.

But I've been thinking about the weed nursery yard and pondering ways we can make it look a little nicer. Or at the very least not bring down our blocks property values anymore than we already have. I also long for fruit that we can grow ourselves. I think we have come up with some ways to plant some fruit trees and bushes, though it will involve doing some hard work to remove more than a couple of the uglier bushes which adorn our property. To that end, I bought some blueberry bushes today. It's a small thing, but it makes me excited.

It makes B. excited, too, because I am more interested in feeding his plant obsession. As an aside, he got his birthday presents early because if we waited for June to roll around it would be too late. He is now having fun playing with his new grow lights in the basement and sprouting seeds he has carefully saved over the past year. He is also looking forward to the dwarf, indoor orange tree that will arrive as soon as our weather is predictable enough not to kill it before it can be brought inside.

But anyway, back to the second thing all of this surprising interest in gardening tells me. And that I think we (certainly at least I do) underestimate the enormity of the change that is involved when a new child is added to the family. With an infant, we are more prepared for it. Infants take a lot of work. They can't do anything for themselves, require nearly constant attention, and are not known for their excellent sleeping habits. Add to that if the mother is nursing and it is easy to expect life to be a bit different for a good long while until you find a new normal.

With adoption, especially if the child is older, I don't think we cut ourselves the same amount of slack about when life is going to feel 'normal' again. After all, for the most part, this new child can do a lot of things on their own. At least that is what we expect. But this change, too, is enormous. It alters the family structure on a very fundamental level and it takes a while for all of that to sort itself out. And it is not just the parent-child relationship, but it alters every-child to-child relationship as well. It's a whole lot of change. We are now at 13 months from when H. came home and it is just now that the dust feels as though it's settling a bit. We are reaching a new normal.

Now, if the weather would just stay nice enough so that I can master the ripstick that was new on Easter. I was able to go three squares of the sidewalk today, though I had no control. TM is an absolute master of it and makes it look sooooo easy. I also need to practice when J. and B. are not around because to watch them watch me, you would think I was their grandmother. But it looks fun, and I'm going to figure it out.

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