“If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by.” – F. Burton Howard
over the weekend, dustin and i spent the entire day together, without holden, for the first time in 19 months. and in stopping to think about it, we realized that it is kind of a shockingly long time for us not to have an extended amount of alone time together. for months we have said that we should do it, my mom has offered countless times to take holden for weekends, but then the time would come and we’d get excited about a random family outing or decide we were too tired or just not and choose that instead. or we wouldn’t have anything specific in mind and decide that it didn’t really matter.
but on a whim, we decided it was time. without any planning, without showering, without as much as running a brush through my hair, dustin and i left for the entire afternoon and evening. on saturday, after putting holden down for his nap, we asked my mom if she would watch holden for the rest of the day and of course she eagerly agreed, excited to spend some alone time with her grandson.
with absolutely no plans, we drove into the city and wandered around our old neighborhood. we stopped in at our old house and reminisced on the times we enjoyed there as newlyweds. we walked, we shopped, we talked, we ate, and we remembered that our relationship is the priority.
upon arriving home to see that holden was happy, content, and couldn’t stop talking about how much fun he had with grandma, we have decided that it is something we need to do more often. knowing now, that even a few hours to ourselves is important and integral part of maintaining our marriage.
it’s been a while since i’ve done any outfit inspirations for our little family, so i thought it was about time. i am kind of obsessed with tulle and dressy skirts at the moment and adore this fun outfit above.
i’ve also thinking a lot about parenting methods lately. i truly believe to each their own. each and every person has a different view on parenting, and different parenting methods and techniques work better for different children. i try not to judge the way that other people do things and try to remain confident in my decisions even if they sometimes go against the norm. at the beginning of holden’s life, when i was new to the whole mommy thing, i would get offended when people gave me their opinions on how i was raising my child or lectured me on what they did and how that was the best way, but today, i am 100% confident in how i am raising holden. i know what works best for him and don’t second guess myself if someone doesn’t agree.
but then, this happened yesterday…
we are generally healthy eaters at our house. i am vegetarian (the boys are not), but because of that we eat a lot of good veggies and fruit. the only sugary food holden has had in his life thus far was his birthday cake and a handful of popsicles, but the other day, as a little treat, i took holden to get sorbet with me at a local gelato shop. i gave holden a few bites and while feeding him a small scoop a woman walking by stopped to say hello and smile at him. she then walked into the gelato shop herself and i didn’t think anything of it. that is until she showed back up a few minutes later to lecture me on giving my child something filled with artificial colors and sugar.
i was so much in shock in that moment that i couldn’t respond. as my mouth hung open, she walked away to go about her day as usual and i was left with a huge pit in my stomach. despite the fact that i believe that everything in moderation is the way to live, i was crushed. having a stranger chastise you in public is humiliating. she made me feel bad about my choice to enjoy a little sorbet (his first ever!) with holden without knowing anything about us.
that experience has reminded me to never judge other parents, grandparents, or anyone else for that matter and their methods and views on child-rearing. and unless someone asks, not to be overly forthcoming about my opinion on these matters because every child needs things done just a little differently.
we headed to san diego for the wedding of dustin’s cousin this weekend, the first wedding holden has ever attended. dustin and i were really looking forward to showing holden off to dustin’s family and celebrating, but we weren’t anticipating how much work having a baby at a wedding would be! our little man has always been an extremely active child and recently he has had more energy than ever, interested in exploring (and destroying) every inch of his surroundings…which isn’t really possible at a wedding. we arrived at the ceremony and as soon as it started, holden started doing an excited “ba! ba! ba!” dustin and i quickly retreated with holden in tow and played with him in a different area of the hotel where he could squeal and giggle as loud as he liked until the ceremony was finished. during the cocktail hour, holden was free to explore and we thought he just might deplete his energy and be ready to sit through dinner. but two hours of a formal dinner and toasts are definitely not conducive to a wild child and dustin and i struggled to contain him, maintain conversations with the table, and eat. needless to say, pretty sure we didn’t do any one of the three very well. we have a few more weddings coming up this summer and we definitely need a different plan of attack. does anyone have any tips for bringing a baby to a wedding?
this weekend, dustin went to san diego for a guys golf weekend (my present for his bday) and i missed him horribly. each week i look forward to the weekend, sometimes counting down the sleeps we have left until we get to spend together as a family. although holden and i spent saturday lazing around a pool with a bunch of my friends and spent the entire day on sunday with my mom at a really awesome park in berkeley, there was a sort of emptiness to the weekend, knowing that each special moment that happened i wanted to be sharing with dustin. waking up this morning to realize that we had another five days before we could spend the day as a family was pretty depressing and regardless of how much fun we all had over the weekend, i think we felt a little cheated out of time.
on sunday, i discovered an amazing park, tilden park, with my mom. it’s located in the berkeley hills and has a steam engine, a merry-go-round, a petting zoo, a few lakes, and a bunch of places to picnic and hike. holden loves animals. on a daily basis, we read tons of animal books, make a lot of animal noises, and listen to silly songs about animals, so the animal farm was the perfect place to take him. he was entranced at the animal farm, mouth gaping in amazement and crying each time i turned him away from one animal to go explore another part of the farm.
live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air. – ralph waldo emerson
having holden has made me think a lot about the type of life that i want for him. i really want him to be able to experience life. i want him to be able to be a boy, to spend his days outside, to get dirty, to climb trees, be an explorer and an adventurer, to get creative and have the space to do all of this.
sometimes i dream about living on a farm, waking up each dawn to the sun rising in the sky, stepping out into the morning mist as my shoes catch the fresh dew, holden’s tiny hand in mine, his feet moving twice as fast just to keep up with my stride, as we meet and feed all of our animals, holden living a slower life, one that’s far removed from the hustle and bustle of a busy city…but then i’m not sure i could handle the slower pace of a farm life.
sometimes i dream about moving to another country (australia, new zealand, or denmark are at the top my list) even just if it’s just for a year, taking a break from our normal lives and assimilating ourselves into another culture, holden becoming a multicultural, multilingual little boy…but then i realize i love california and i’m not sure i can take holden away from the friends and family that love him here.
sometimes i dream about living in the country, in a town that you could drive through within a total of 2 minutes, a blink of the eye and you will have missed it in a house with a vegetable garden out back and rolling hills of green all around (my grandparents house in pleasant point, new zealand comes to mind), a place where holden can be a real boy, where holden can be wild and free…but then i’m not sure i could live without the convenience of a big city and all of the child classes that holden attends.
sometimes i want to pack up our suitcases, jump on a plane, and just go, becoming modern day explorers, a nomadic family traversing the globe in search of adventure, holden learning more about the world by experiencing it himself…but then i’m not sure if we could leave home for so long.