Bits + Pieces + Realizations, from Maui

Maui Realizations.
-Traveling with a toddler is hard. Forget about the near impossible task of traveling with a grumpy toddler, traveling with a happy go-lucky busy toddler is almost impossible too. It didn’t help matters that some chick tried to get onto the plane sick and couldn’t manage to even make it to her seat. We had to wait for a customer service representative to “escort” her off the plane and then had to wait even longer for a clean up crew to clean up the throw up see left behind. It was like starting with a full tank of gas and then dropping to nearly empty before even leaving the runway. Oh yes, there ought to be an asterisk attached to my opening realization that traveling with a toddler is hard. The asterisk would read: And traveling with a toddler while seven months pregnant is harder. That little boy inside of me has quite the limited room as is and having an external little munchkin pushing further on the littler munchkin made this mama short of breath real fast. Bless the flight attendant who pointed out two open seats, allowing Hooper to have his own seat. This wonderful occurrence has happened a few times while traveling with Hooper and it makes such a big difference to my own comfort. It does not, however, change the fact that he nearly refused to sit in his seat. He pulled all the magazines out of the seat in front of him, he took the tray down and then pushed it back up (apologies were made to the people in front of us), played peek-a-boo with the people behind us (more apologies were made), ate the snacks that fell on the ground from the little girl next to him, walked up and down the aisles, you get the idea. He had gotten up so early in the morning for the flight that I was certain he would nap. He did nap, for about 20 minutes until my ass was fully numb, my left foot was tingling, my back was beyond aching, and I took the risk of lying him down on the open seat next to me. He woke almost immediately and never went back to sleep. So, it was a long flight there but he was happy and smiley regardless of appearing busier than a crackhead.
-Holding Hooper on that flight against my belly while the little one inside threw kicks and punches reminded me that soon my attention will be divided. I thought of this fact often throughout the trip. Every time I felt a kick I envisioned having to stop what I was doing and turn my attention away from Hooper. I feel some sadness regarding not being able to give Hooper my full attention in the near future. I worry less about how he’ll handle it and more about how I’ll handle it. Is that weird? I had a conversation with a friend who said she cried for three weeks after she gave birth to her second child. Even though her first child handled it well, she felt like she was cheating on him with the new baby. I’m trying to prepare myself to handle this transition in the most healthy of ways, but I’m sure what that means yet.
-Moments in motherhood, like life, are about perspective. For those 20 minutes Hooper was asleep on me on the plane, before the numb ass, tingling foot, and aching back, everything was perfect. I could stare at that boy sleep all day long. His weightless body and ability to give himself over to me fully is the most beautiful thing. He was perfectly peaceful. But, it’s momentary. Soon your ass is asleep, the fingers in the arm he’s resting on begin to tingle, it gets harder to feel your foot, your reluctant to uncross your legs for fear of waking your sleeping angel, and well, the moment of perfect peace passes. As I laid him on the empty seat, feeling incredibly grateful and indebted to all flight attendants from here and out, he instantly woke up. He never went back to sleep and for the remainder of the flight I was one of those hammers on the arcade game trying tirelessly to knock down the weasel every time he’d pop up. So you have a choice: call it a good flight and praise the lord for the moment he was asleep on your chest and the fact the flight was tantrum and tear free or call it horrible because you worked the whole time. It’s a matter of perspective and the choice is up to you.
-I noticed a woman at the beach watching Hooper as he mosied back and forth to the ocean with his bucket of water. She asked how old he was and mentioned she had a 19 month old at home. I studied her sitting in her lounge chair with her magazine, her husband next to her, and said “enjoy the freedom!”. She smiled in such a way that made me realize she was missing her son. I realized in this moment that being a mom is a double edge sword. It’s hard when you’re in full mom mode and it’s hard when you’re not. It’s a challenge, in my opinion, to enjoy the time alone with your husband when you’re both missing your little one at home. So as she watched Hooper and missed her son, I watched her and missed time alone with my husband. We both had something great in that moment, yet we both had to sacrifice something to be in that moment. The yin and yang, push and pull of life. Again, it’s a matter of perspective. 

1 Response

  • What a beautiful post, Ash! You are so thoughtful. I totally understand that sadness in preparation for baby #2. Hooper has such a good heart and I think he’ll love his brother but, yes, it’ll be hard to divide your attention when you’re used to giving it only to him. Everything is a phase though, right? And, like you said, so much is about perspective. I hope I hear these words of wisdom of yours if/when I have my own kid. You do motherhood good, kid.


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