We were fortunate enough to spend the past weekend with some of my family on a vacation in Iowa. It was a long drive but we made it there and back in one piece. We used my sisters time share to get a couple of apartment style rooms on a golf course in Panora, IA. (For the record she does not advise that you purchase time shares but since the deed is done we make the most of it!) The weather was perfect all weekend which always helps with kids so they aren’t couped up all the time. We had so much square footage that is was so nice to not be on top of each other for once. We had three kitchens and five bathrooms between the two apartments so that kind of space was darn near priceless. Typically the boys will go out golfing but as we were on the golf course the ladies got a chance to go out once as well. It was a blast.
And of course I got spend time with five of my favorite people. Each of them are such fun, sassy, outgoing, and loving people. I’ll never get tired of them calling out to me or hugging my neck tight. Sweet Alice still has a limited vocabulary but spits out, “Auntie!” just fine. 🙂 There are pros and cons to being a younger sibling. You constantly feel behind at life and are always trying to catch up to where your older siblings are at. But on the other hand being 4-8 years younger means I’m not quite at the same point in my life as they are. I don’t yet have children of my own. I have gotten to be just Auntie for a while now. I can focus and enjoy my nieces and nephew in the way only a childless Auntie can. Our connection is deeper because of that. Since I don’t have babies if my own I get to read bedtime stories and tuck them in or rock them to sleep. I get to have early morning snuggles and cuddles with them. I can be at some of their first recitals and concerts and games because I don’t yet have the time consumption of doing it with my own kids. I can spend all day with them and give them my full undivided attention. This is something I will never regret despite the infertility.
Of course family time can be stressful too. Differences of opinions, different ways of doing things, different ideas on how to spend your vacation time…you get the idea. So with stress, time away from work, and long drives, what makes family time worth it? Simple. The memories made, the pictures taken, and the laughter in between it all. And the older my siblings and I get the harder it will start to be to get all together.
I had such a wonderful comment on a blog post the other day and it has really stuck with me. The waiting time of when you first wanted to get pregnant to the moment you actually do get pregnant is a wait time. You are waiting for it to happen. For some it is extremely short and for others it seems endlessly long. But no matter how much time passes between those moments it is a waiting game. And the question is how will you use that waiting period? How will you prepare and fill your time until the thing you want to happen, happens. And this can be true for many things in life. The wait time from the moment you decide you are ready to be in a relationship to the moment you are in one. The wait time between deciding you are ready to get married and the moment you get engaged. The moment when you decide what career you want and the time it takes to get to your dream position. The moment your relationship ends until the moment a new one begins. The moment you save that first dollar for a car or house until the moment you have enough money for the purchase. The moment you decide to adopt to the moment you first hold your child. All of these life events and more have a waiting period. How will you use that waiting time? Will you embrace it? Will you do something positive with it? Will you wait wisely?
I remember when M and I broke up for a period of about eight months. I remember being so focused on fixing things between us and getting back together that I didn’t use my wait time wisely. For many of us there are so few moments in life when you are on your own doing what you want whenever you want to do it. I wish that I had focused more on myself and done things that I wanted to do solely because I wanted to do it. Spent money on myself however I wanted without being held accountable to a partner, up and left on a trip with no responsibilities to tend to, and heck something as simple as eating at whichever restaurant I wanted to. That lesson of waiting wisely now has always stayed with me. Because one day the wait will be over and then you are left sometimes wishing you had used that time more wisely.
We have a few things we’ve focused on as we wait. Health and wellness have been a big focus for us. We want our children to grow into healthy happy people and the biggest way we think to do that is through example. We also want to travel and spend as much time with family and friends as possible because one day it won’t be as easy to just jump in the car and go. The kids won’t be able to stay in their car seat very long without screaming and crying and soccer schedules and bible camp will all get in the way. We also try to spend quality time together just the two of us playing cards and board games, walking to the brewery, driving to state parks in the evening, and taking weekend naps with pets. One day we will be too tired and too busy to do it often.
It may seem like that moment you’re waiting for will never come but if you want it bad enough it will. I’m so looking forward to that moment in the future where M and I look at each other and say, “remember when we didn’t have kids?…yeah what was that like?” And until we get there I’m going to enjoy the here and now.
So how will you use your wait time?
Thankfully my period came today so I can once and for all confirm that I’m not pregnant. I had a stern talking to him (I think it’s funny to call my period a him) and told him I wouldn’t put up with that crap anymore and that I was very worried why he was 12 days later than I had expected and that basically next time it was come on time or don’t come at all! He seemed to be red with shame.
You would think that now I’d be able to move forward and get on like business as usual but that was not the case today. Today I learned of my next door neighbor’s son’s passing away. He was in his mid forties and died suddenly from some virus that sent him into sepsis which he was unable to recover from. The scene next door has been hard to ignore since we’ve had such nice weather we’ve been keeping the house open for a nice cool breeze. Their house has been full with his family gathering to mourn his sudden loss. To witness such heartache right next door is like a reality show gone wrong. Their grief is powerful and contagious in the sense that you never know what happens in life and that every moment is truly precious. It reminds me of when my sister and her family were in a head on collision with a semi on their way back home from M and I’s wedding. They all managed to escape with little to no injury but at times like these I often think back to how it could have ended so much more tragically and how thankful I am. Try not to forget to be thankful and grateful for every moment with loved ones.
With Mr. Period curled up inside me making himself nice and comfy in my uterus and with the sadness next door on top of my frustration of how my day went (computer issues…don’t get me started!) I didn’t want to go to the grocery store to get the supplies I needed for the supper I had planned. Instead I wanted my favorite meal from the vegan restaurant with a side of heaping french fries. The only reason I was able to talk myself out of that idea was to tell myself, “why would you spend money on food when you have a freezer full of heat and eat meals, sorry can’t validate your wants today.” I’m mad at myself about it haha but actually very thankful that I will stay on track with another day of oil-free under my belt! Four days in and feeling good about that.
M is on his way home and we will have our favorite mac and cheeze for supper before heading out to “the pits” which is some kind of water hole area that M goes diving in. We are going to take the new truck and enjoy the gorgeous weather and outside time together. I’m sure that is just the pick-me-up that I need.
Have a safe and good weekend everyone.