Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Our Spectrum

I have heard the comment often lately that you only need to read the first five and last five pages of a book to know what it's all about. The Cliff Notes version of literature. I have made the comment lately that our family is like the Cliff Notes version of the Duggars.

I have the nearly-20 year old and the toddling 2 year old... and just glossed over the 17 other kids in between. YES! I know there is a kid in the middle and I am subjecting Cameron to interminably suffer Middle Child Syndrome with comments like that... but it's the general idea that I'm going for here.

Today was the kind of day that made the spectrum of ages in our home abundantly tangible. Last year, Justin going off to his first year of college pulled on a few of the heart strings. In reality though, he was less than three hours away and home often enough- especially during those holiday and break times when I had no school and life slowed down.

Yesterday though, when we dropped him off at the recruiter's office to spend the night at a hotel before his day doing physicals and paperwork, it was a real slap of reality- whoa! He is g-r-o-w-n. Wasn't this kid just doing The Worm across the gym floor during the Homecoming Pep Rally last week?

These days, Part of that out-of-school-so-no-excuse-not-to-clean(ing) going on around here (most days) has us listing some of Benjamin's baby items on a local Sell-It page. Yesterday, the Einstein Activity Center found a new home and today the Pack&Play was picked up. This should be good, right? Making back a few bucks on all the contraptions the media manipulated you into buying during moments of weakness before you remembered that all new babies really need is "diapers, boobs, and a blanket." Herein lies the problem.

When I look at the Pack&Play, even when it is in a huddled pile in the living corner, I see Baby Benjamin lifting his wee baby head just high enough to peek over the top and see me laying in bed. It served as his primary sleeper for the first 6, maybe 8 months, of his life, nestled in the corner of our bedroom. I fell asleep to the sound of his breathing and woke up when he started rustling about. I had to admit he had far outgrown the thing when several months ago his preferred source of entertainment in our bedroom was randomly climbing into it and out of it. Being too big for play centers, and bucket car seats, and portable cribs though just makes you remember the unforgiving antagonist that time is. It passes by so quickly. One day you awake to that sleepy-eyed face just barely able to peek above the bassinet. The next day you're shocked out of slumber by the bedroom door being thrown open and saluted, "MAAAA!!!"

SO... back to today. We dropped Justin off at the recruiter's office and were almost at Busch Gardens when he called us because not all the perquisite work had been done and he was going to have his push his appointment to the next week. We went back and picked him up and then U-turned back to Busch Gardens with the whole family, getting there about three hours after we left the house that morning (ugh!)This was our first real trip to the amusement park with Benjamin and we planned the day around him. It was in the Land of the Dragons, when I could not believe that my baby was old enough, big enough for rides... that I realized that my FIRST baby was wayyy to old to lingering in the kiddie play areas (without potentially looking a bit creeperish).

So, we gave Justin & Cameron the reprieve to go off and find adventures on their own. We came together as a family again though after a few hours, had dinner and took Benjamin to Elmo's World, where...

My "First Baby" was unable to contain his excitement to go an play with his little brother in the splash park.

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