Got my very first care package from my mama today! That's ten tubes of my favorite type of chapstick. You know me, I can't just be a normal gal and use blixtex. Gotta have the good stuff, which I can't find out here. So Grandma Terri came through and apparently cleaned out the Biloxi Target for me. Thanks mom!
Today was our first day of swim lessons. Pretty typical. We got there early to play, and stayed for about an hour after, and while I was sitting there with kids climbing all over me, occasionally going underwater for a second or two while waiting for me to rescue them, I got to thinking about how I would have handled this four years ago. Not well.
When Ava was born...ahh. It was rough. I remember getting calls from Walgreens because I'd order pictures online, then never make it to the store to pick them up. The task of packing a bag, putting Ava in the car, driving the point four miles to get there, parking, unbuckling Ava, lugging the carrier and my bag and my purse and my emergency bag and my back up emergency bag into the store, paying for the pictures, getting everything back to the car, buckling in again, driving home, and lugging it all inside...too daunting. So I didn't go anywhere. Ever. It was just TOO HARD.
Flash forward. I never in a million years would have believed that I'd load three kids aged four and under into a car, all dressed in swimsuits and covered with sunscreen that I'd had to slather all over them while they cried in protest, each with a bag for a towel and a change of clothes and toys and (since they're Engelbrechts) multiple snacks, take them to a swim lesson, and then play in the pool. But I did it, and you know what? It wasn't even that bad. And yeah, it took me twenty minutes to get everyone in the van, but it takes me that long to get in the van for ANYTHING these days, even going to a movie by myself.
Isn't that weird, how you just adapt? I feel like I'm just not explaining it right. I guess you just had to know me, know how difficult I felt it was to do ANYTHING with Ava. I didn't understand how other mothers managed to take their babies to Target or the grocery store or even to the park, when it was so hard for me. Impossible, actually. And now, even when I get lucky and end up only having to take two kids somewhere, it's such a breeze! It truly feels like an in-and-out job.
All right, enough rambling. Suffice it to say (is that how that expression goes? or is it just 'suffice to say'?) I really felt like a real mom today. A lot of times I just feel like a twelve year old babysitter, playing house, but on days like today, I feel like I'm not faking it. Feels pretty good.