I should be packing right now. Tomorrow we will travel across the country for a family reunion and a week of fun with relatives. For this trip, for the first time since I packed for my 6-month study abroad adventure in 2003, I made a packing list. Normally I am disdainful of such crutches, which lead to things like always having enough socks and contact solution. Who needs that kind of predictability? But it is a different story to be planning a week away from home with a 5-month-old. Sweet pea doesn't need much, right? No toothbrush or toothpaste, no underwear or bras, and she doesn't even need any snacks yet. BUT she does need enough diapers and enough wet bags and enough outfit changes for multiple spit-up events. She needs a car seat and a carrier (we use the ERGO), and maybe a stroller. She needs her birth certificate because it is her only form of ID so far. I'm just not sure I can handle keeping everything in my head that I'm going to need (including the items that are new for me, like nursing tanks, nursing pads, and possibly a nursing cover) and still bring everything she needs. I do not want to come up short, so I am getting organized. Welcome to parenthood? We are trying to pack as light as possible so we have fewer bags to check, so less expense, so I will be leaving behind items such as a variety of shoes to go with different outfits, (for me and her). I know she doesn't need them yet, but aren't these shoes cute on her?
I'm in my final week of summer before work as a middle school teacher begins again. This time of year I'm always in a reflective mood. I look back and feel so lucky to have had this time with my kids. We went camping, biking, boating, golfing, and hiking. We celebrated my sister's wedding, we did projects together, watched movies, and just hung out at home. It really was everything that summer is meant to be. There were many events and plans that we canceled due to Covid, but we did all the most important things. We missed friends, but I also reveled in the togetherness with my little family unit. Today, I spent time registering for fall childcare and activities. It's less than usual, but still I can see the pace of our lives picking up. As we move into a season of more busy-ness, more work, and likely more stress, this poem sums up the feelings I'm experiencing.... Vacation End by Leslie Pinckney Hill From the charm of radiant faces, From the days we took to dream