Day 8-35. Whoa. Talk about dropping the ball! No excuses here though… okay, one. I am wrecked! By the time the girls are asleep, I’m exhausted! After playing, singing, dancing, walking, running, shopping, painting, drawing, baking, gardening, swinging, climbing, comforting, throwing, catching, role-playing, feeding, cleaning, educating, entertaining, scolding – trust me, this list could go on and on – I can barely maintain an adult conversation with Chantal when she gets home, let alone post something on here! I think the fiery start that I had from days 1 through 7 was a case of premature, well, premature something. (Hover your mouse over the following photographs for captions. Also, I encourage you to click on them for a larger view… they are charming.)
I am now settling into a rhythm, a system, a sym-tri-otic relationship between myself, Seren and Olwyn. It seriously takes time, patience, hard work, dedication and lots and lots of love to get into the hearts and minds of little children and their routines. Only within the past couple of weeks have they really started to accept me as not just their daddy, but the person who they hang out with all day. I’m not Kate (our au pair up until June) and Seren is no longer in Playgroup (for the summer), so there have been upheavals in their lives, to say the least. These things may seem trivial to us at first, as they did to me. But to small children, these changes are everything… not just everything, absolutely their whole entire world!
I am so blessed to have this opportunity to spend very real (because I make sure it matters), quality (because I put huge effort into it) time with my little girls. And yes, at times I wonder why, how or who, but really… c’mon! My unstylish hair, unshaven face, dark circles under my eyes, increasing grey hairs and wrinkles and spare tires, lack of wardrobe items younger than 5 years, rare fits of tired insanity, et cetera, et cetera… they’re all worth it when I really observe Seren and Olwyn. I’ve done a heck of a lot with them in just under two months and their development of behaviour, knowledge, words, phrases, dexterity and physical growth are things that I am proud of. Not pride in myself, mind you, but pride in their assertiveness and determination to become better, know more and see things differently.
Of course, I can be proud of myself too. After all, can a child really learn more from anyone other than a truly loving parent? I know that I never did. So, I’m proud of my parents for teaching me things that hopefully I am passing on to my children. And to witness the way Seren and Olwyn interact with each other is always an inspiring learning experience, which makes me feel nostalgic about how Chris (my brother) and I interacted. For example, Olwyn (the younger) has recently decided that sitting on Seren when she’s lying down is hilarious! A mild dose of antagonism really is her drug lately… seems very familiar to me! So, I also have that great relationship to draw knowledge and insight from.
I’ve become a real ‘man-about-town’ lately too. Setting up playdates at various playgrounds and meeting other playgroup parents for coffee ‘so our kids can play together’! It’s been a busy, adventurous summer thus far and it’s only halfway over. I’ve still got the rest of July and all of August to get through, plus a trip to Paris, where thankfully I’ll have Chantal and Chris with me.
By no means have I got any of this under control, let’s just make that clear! As much as I want to control things, I can’t… never will. Manipulate, yes. Steer, yes. Control, NO! What is happening though, is that I am learning how to grow too.