Archives for posts with tag: nature

Parenthood comes with the expectation that you will experience new things. It is filled with constant and changing experiences. You could write a year’s worth of blogs on every kind of new thing parenthood brings. There is only one on my mind today though.

My oldest started Kindergarten yesterday. We survived. That is for another post. It has given me some more one on one time with my youngest. For a couple hours 5 days a week I have an only child of sorts. This morning we spent a little time outside. While watching him I got lost in thought.

At the beginning of August Alex had tubes in his ears to clear up chronic fluid behind his ear drums. This fluid had caused temporary hearing loss in him. We don’t know exactly how long it had been causing it, but it was long enough to impact his speech development. Which is how we discovered the hearing loss, at speech therapy.

Since then I have gotten to experience what it is like to watch someone whose hearing loss had been remedied rediscover the world. That is an experience I have never had. It is an experience that I would not have assumed came with parenthood. However, let me tell you, it is one of the most amazing things I have ever been a part of. The difference in him has been amazing. He is no longer frustrated. He is sunny and happy and oh so chatty.

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He notices all of the sounds around him now. Small noises grab his attention. He is amazed when he hears a cacophony of nature outside. This morning I took time to explore this with him. We could hear so many different tunes. Birds tweeting, crickets chirping, acorns falling from trees, a small plane that flew over our home. We heard it first and then hunted the skies for it until it became visible.

We play this game where he says momma and I respond with a quiet whistle. He laughs and laughs and says momma again and again. I can whisper things to him now and he responds. He has more words and is saying phrases and sentences. He articulates what he needs, wants, and doesn’t want.

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Watching him hear the world clearly for maybe the first time in his life has been one of my favorite parenting experiences. I was so worried about the surgery. I felt awful for not catching this sooner. I was hoping with all hope that it worked and we didn’t put him through that for nothing. Every one of those concerns were squashed. When his face lights up at the sound of a bird singing a song, I know that I wouldn’t change a thing. He has allowed me to watch someone exploring their world for the first time in a new way. You can see the appreciation he has for his newfound hearing ability. I can see it in his face when he hears some random noise that grabs his attention. WOW OOOO OHHH Mamma!! I can see it in his face when he starts a conversation with me. I can see it in his face when he now says hi and bye to everyone that walks by him. I can hear it when he answers questions with real formed words instead of babbling or yelling. I can hear it when he plays his mamma game. I heard it that very post op night when he went from say “wah” for walk to “WALK.” Right now he is sitting at the end of the couch we are on together. He is hugging our cat and saying “kikey.” Which is a word he couldn’t even come close to forming before.

There are tons of thoughts on seeing the world through a child’s eyes. But for me, I am hearing the world through a child’s ears. And it is phenomenal.

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I have started and failed to finish several posts this week. It has been difficult for me to get into a good writing flow. They were all very long posts but they just didn’t seem right to me. They all were incomplete as well. I have had a lot on my mind but the words just won’t form correctly. Today, though, I am going to try a bit harder.

Yesterday evening I was thinking to myself that I would really enjoy it if I had a rainy day tomorrow. A day to just slow me down a little bit. A reason to stay inside, cuddled up with my sweetheart. A day where I could use the bad weather as an excuse to not run errands, go somewhere fun, walk to the park, or whatever ever else came up. 

For over a week I haven’t slept through the night. Last night was no exception. As I lay in bed I considered a walk to the park with Jackson today. No workout, take a rest day because I haven’t taken a rest day in over a week either. But a nice 1.5 mile walk and maybe some swimming. My brain was active as I lay in bed considering all the things I could do today. I finally decided to get myself up for the day, having stayed in bed a bit later knowing I didn’t plan on fitting in a workout. Alexander started slowing moving around, then kicking. It was time to start my day. 

Imagine my surprise as I waddled into my kitchen, not greeted by the usual beaming sunlight that radiates through the massive set of windows we have. I was greeted by grey sky, rain, clouds, and utter wetness outside. My heart skipped a beat. My rainy day! I hadn’t even checked the weather forecast yesterday. I had no idea rain was coming. I just wished it would, to force me to slow down a touch. As I sit here and write I am accompanied by the sounds of rain falling on my skylights. Heavy raindrops writing their own song. Jackson is still asleep. He likes to sleep late on rainy mornings. There is no sun radiating around the small space around his blackout blinds. 

I am not sure what we will do today. My dishes could be washed. I was too tired last night to wash the ones from dinner. Legos are already spread across my kitchen table. Except for the small area I am afforded for my meals and well my laptop I am typing on now. We have a ton of books we could read. I have a new big Ninja Turtles coloring/activity book we could make our marks on. Maybe we will do all of them. If he keeps sleeping much longer, there won’t be a nap today. Especially on a day where we don’t wear ourselves out playing outside or going on an adventure. 

As I sipped my coffee earlier, watching the rainy day, I couldn’t help but thank my Gma (that is what I called her a lot). I can’t help but feel like she may have had a hand in providing me with exactly what I needed this week. Forcing me to slow down a little, her girl who is always on the go. Thanks Gma, you did me a solid. 

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View from my kitchen

This is my favorite time of year to run. Well, as long as the weather is fall weather and not an Indian Summer. We have fall weather right now. I went for a run yesterday. A little over 2 miles only. We had Gymboree at 11:15 and I wanted to make sure Jack had some nap time before then. I still cannot run the entire route along our lake because of construction.

Yesterday during my run I started thinking. I saw another mom running with her jogger. She had headphones on. I used to always run listening to music. There was no way I could run without listening to tunes. I spent a good deal of time with playlists or skipping past songs I felt interfered with my focus.

Then I had Jackson. I started trying to listen to music while on my elliptical. Usually not on my headphones. Just playing it from my phone so I could still hear other things in the house. But then he would be napping and I would be listening for him or trying to not cause a wake up. This was early on where he would not sleep very well. Now he is an excellent sleeper. Our cats fighting outside his room won’t even cause him to stir.

Slowly that music phased out. I would just work out hoping he wouldn’t wake up from his nap before I had time to finish and shower.

I started running again when he was around 4 months old. I was going by myself, headphones in ear, iPhone in hand. Tunes narrating my run. I did not really think about it. It was just what I do, that is how I run, that helps keep me motivated.

We got the jogger when he was over 5 months old. I never even considered using my headphones when I started running with him. I never even had an internal debate, to listen or not to listen. I didn’t even think to use them. I wanted to hear my surroundings, I wanted to be able to hear him if he needed something or dropped something. He will be 8 months in a week and a half. I did not even notice that I don’t run with music until I saw the other mom yesterday.

I got to thinking after that. I do not miss it. I really enjoy just being in the nature. The only sounds narrating my runs are ones I encounter naturally. It is kind of freeing not trying to find the perfect jam to keep you motivated. My thoughts motivate me, my time with Jack motivates me, the little baby weight I have left (I lost more weight, I am 125lbs now!) motivates me, staying fit motivates me. I don’t need the music.

I am not knocking music. We listen to it all day long. It is a huge part of our day. I sing and dance for and with him. I am a huge music person. But on my runs with my favorite running buddy, it is just him, me, and the world around us. It feels good. It is refreshing. I will have to thank him one day for opening my ears to all that is around me for that 30-40 minutes of the day.