The girls and I have been reading a little biography of the life of Saint Thomas More and I have basically fallen in love with him as a saint-friend. Last weekend we watched A Man for All Seasons with the older 2 and between that and the book we are reading, when Mike let me know that the Saint John Paul II National Shrine currently has a huge exhibit with multiple relics of the Saint, I was fairly dead set on going. So this Sunday our little family ventured into the city to pretend that we are adventurous.
The thing is we never, ever do adventurous things as a family and the reason is....
The boy is crazy. Crazy cute, crazy hilarious, and just plain crazy. I was a tad nervous about is little pilgrimage with him but I hoped that the grace of God would compensate for what I lack in dealing with his shenanigans, and maybe it did but holy moly it was HARD. He was fine on the drive there, he was fine for roughly the first 4 minutes within the Saint Thomas More exhibit, but once we got about 1/4 of the way in he just sprinted off, all the way to the entrance door and would have made a total break for it if only some unsuspecting stranger had opened the giant door for him.
I sent Mike to catch him since I was holding Fred B in the carrier and from that point in it was basically one reeeeeeeeally long tantrum/effort to get down and run/angry winning at being held/freaking out about being strapped into the stoller.
I am not asking for advice on how to take him places, though I'm sure I could use some on how to be more virtuous and patient with him-- I KNOW I could. I have absolutely come to the conclusion that we simply should not take him places that aren't completely fenced in right now and where he can't yell-talk about everything he sees. That is the solution. We almost never split up Masses on the weekends, but he is necessitating such extremes because he be cray.
I found myself getting really bitter about it and upset last night because I felt like "I should be beyond this now!" When, oh when, will I be at the point of mothering where my older ones can really help out and when the entirety of the car ride there and back is not full to the brim with a screaming baby and a screaming toddler?! (it totally was)
The answer is when my older kids are actually older. Naomi is 8, not 18 and that's just the reality of it right now. I cannot jump ahead 10 years into parenting and be at some magical easier place just by dreaming hard enough about it. In many ways I'm still in the trenches-- ok, in most ways I am.
For right now I need to relish the new and lovely parts of having some who are old enough to enjoy new things with me. It was so wonderful and lovely to read about the life of this Saint with my 6 and 8 year old and be amazed together at his life and death, and then stand in awe with them as we reverenced his relics. This is new and this is good, despite the fact that I'm still in the baby-toddler trenches with the younger ones.
Each new phase does not have to be perfect and easy breezie to be very good and to have really awesome new elements. For example, Naomi can hold Fred on her hip for little spurts, but only for about 30 seconds before she gets too tired (he's a chunker), but just because she can't hold him for 30 minutes doesn't mean those 30 seconds weren't blissful.
This is where we are right now and it is good, and it although it was insanely crazy taking the 2-year-old a' pilgrimage-ing, it is so good that we went.