We’re supposed to be 1000 miles south, finishing our big spring trip right now. But all three of us got sick last week, and are fortunate that jobs and permits let us move the start date back a week.
After eight and a half months Little Bear has little interest in crawling, though he has mastered all the elements, and all possible interest in walking, which he cannot yet do. He is intensely interested in practicing, and does so at every opportunity, which means that discretion demands his spotters (us) be on constant duty. So dedicated is he to walking as soon as possible that other basic developmental tasks, such as sleeping and eating, have been placed on hold or in some cases gone retrograde. Given that our big spring trip is a packrafting and backpacking one, I cannot blame LB for his priorities. If he isn’t walking within a month I shall be disappointed.
We’ve been practicing, planning, and stressing over this trip for a few months, and the possibility last week that we might have to change plans was very upsetting. Parenting passed the point of novelty and interest a few months back, and the creeping realization that for a decent while this is what our life has become grows ever stronger. If he can’t pull off a basic route, ideal to our current demands but interesting in a way that pre-kid would have probably not drawn us in, what the hell have we become?
2045 bedtimes have become the rule, as we’re both that tired, and M’s sewing has been about as active as my writing, which is to say, not very. As often as not updates here are a should rather than a want-to, a habit which is thankfully longstanding enough that I can keep it going and thus hopefully fight off further atrophy of intellect and habits.
But he is really cute. Especially when he coos in the backpack for a mile or more on end, at the changing light, wind, trees, or whatever it is his blinding fast brain growth sees as novel, that day.
So I know that the fear I’ve been living with all morning as I pack the car, building towards a few hours hence when we get on the road and see how long 18 hours of driving will actually take, is only superficially about screaming, poopy diapers, and semi-predictable nursing stops. It’s actually about just how far we’re up to the task of being the parents and family we want to be, and seeing very soon how well a field test will go.
In both cases, I reckon it was just fine to self-medicate with two strong beers at Bonsai last night. As Churchill was reputed to have said, “When I was younger I made it a rule never to take strong drink before lunch. It is now my rule never to do so before breakfast.” Since I was 20 my beard has reliably prevented me from being carded in bars. Having a beard and an infant now seems to guarantee the same.