Only Three Things

I feel like there’s a lot on my plate lately. Partially because there is, the juggling of the every day, the balance of the activities that take up the space on my calendar and the time in my day.

But there are also big decisions on the horizon that seem to loom over me as I ponder potential paths.

My husband is a medical resident and we are only 18 months away from the end of his four year residency. 18 months away from our next chapter in life, and I am not at all ready, for I am quite pleased with where we are now. After 4 years of college, medical school, and residency, we will be in a position to either do one more year of training in a fellowship year or go ahead and job search. The tricky part of this, is that we can not agree on where we would like to be.

Since moving to Richmond, VA in 2010, I have fallen in love with it. I love our home, the city and the sweet friends that we have made here. My husband wants to move back to GA, where we both grew up and where most of our family still lives. Though I see where he’s coming from, I am so tired of starting over in a new city with no support systems every four years. I wish we could just stay here.

So the current compromise is that my husband will apply for a fellowship year here in Richmond, and then we will do a job search in Georgia to move in the summer of 2015. It at least gives us one more year in Richmond.

The next big decision looming over me is next year’s preschool for my son. Next year we could stay at the private preschool he’s been going to since he was 2, or we could move him to VPI, Virginia’s free public preschool program. Financially, we would love to save the tuition, but I just don’t know if it would be the right choice to move schools.

And finally, there’s this dialogue beginning to open about potential family planning. My husband and I have had this conversation before, and decided that we would have an only child. Though I have been a “one and done” advocate since my son was born, part of me feels like maybe I should at least consider giving my son a sibling. I feel this huge time crunch on this decision, too, because I just feel like our window for potential siblings is shrinking. I guess I feel like if they are too far apart it would not be worth having another one because the age gap would be so large. And I’m also finally, FINALLY not completely traumatized by my birth experience  I am owing it partially to my New Year’s Resolution to “let go” and partially to the fact that after 3 and half years, my mind and body are beginning to be at peace.

So I have all of these rough drafts of ideas floating around in my head and my husband and I were passionately discussing them this weekend while he cooked dinner. Our son was making play dough pancakes nearby and asked, “What are you guys talking about?”

I answered, “Oh, Mommy and Daddy are just talking about some important things coming up. We have a lot of big decisions to make, like where you will go to school next year and where Daddy is going to work and family planning.”

After some quiet pondering my sweet son replied with the perfect perspective, “But, Mommy, that’s only three things.”

My husband and I laughed and agreed with his evaluation. “Yes, I guess that is only three things.”

And three things isn’t really all that much, is it?

Baby to Boy and Mommy to Chair

Today was my son’s last day of his two day a week two-year-old class at preschool. Next year he will be moving up to three day three’s. I have been so pleased with his first school experience, and so amazed at his transformations this year.

When he started school in September he had just weaned from nursing and was still exclusively in our bed. He was still in diapers. He had a very limited vocabulary and had never been in anyone’s care besides my husband and I and very limited time with grandparents. He was still my baby.

As this school year ends, I see all of the changes he’s gone through this year. He is a very good eater with a large palate. His favorite food is broccoli. (That’s weird, right?) He is fully potty trained, even at night. We have been totally out of diapers and pull ups since February. He has a big boy bed, and now divides his time between his room and ours. It will not be too long until he’s sleeping in his big boy room all alone. His vocabulary is extensive and he is very verbal and articulate. His verbal skills are his greatest asset and his teachers say he is “advanced.” He is now comfortable under other’s care, and has thrived in the school setting, at a local play place, and has even had a babysitter come to the house and watch him. He is a boy.

The year between birth and age one is significant with so many fast changes. The year from age one to two was challenging for me in terms of his behavior; he hit his terrible twos early. This year, between age two and age three has been the most striking in terms of his development. It is amazing to see the transformation from baby to child in just one year.

Things have changed for me, too. I started his school year as a nervous first time parent. I was the room mother and attended parent council meetings, and developed some acquaintances. Through his transformation I have found my own, and have become a more confident and balanced parent. (Those two mornings alone a week have allowed me to regain some sanity.) Today, I was asked by the director of the pre-school to be the chair of parent council for next year. Apparently the current chairman, in coordination with my son’s teachers, recommended me.

I said yes. I’m honored to be thought of and to be establishing a community for myself as we all navigate our places in Richmond. I may be writing about how overwhelmed I am in the fall, but for right now I’m pretty excited about it.

So here I am being the mommy that I always wanted to be; the one that gets to stay home with her little boy and do things like bake cookies and have play dates at the playground and serve as chair of the parent council. It’s exciting.

But we all know (if you’ve read this blog at all) that my life is far from perfect. Being a stay at home mom who chairs the parent council won’t make it perfect, either. But it is the fulfillment of an image of what my mommy life could be like.

I can’t wait to see what happens during this next year of transformation.

(Also? I promise not to turn into one of those crazy parent council chair moms. I’ll try to be a cool one. And I’ll totally bake you some cookies.)