I'm at the beach which is wonderful in its beachy way, but also not so relaxing with little kids, it turns out. Of course, there are grandparents and cousins and aunts here which makes things much much much easier, but I still can't lie back in a chair on the beach, close my eyes, and listen to the waves. M said he feels very relaxed and like he's having a break, that he loves the time to play w/ F in the sand. But I play with her all the time. Playing with her is not a break from anything for me. I think the problem, however, is that I feel like I still should be primarily responsible for the kids. But perhaps I should just let go of that and realize that the other folks here who are helping with the kids (dad, grandma, aunt J,) want to be doing this, and I should just let them. I should indeed close my eyes on the beach once in a while and trust that (1) other folks will make sure the kids are safe, and (2) I'm not burdening others by letting go.
This is the essential problem with the "family vacation." My fantasies about a caribbean vacation with just M have amped up.
I still can't find my camera. Maybe the movers stole it. (I don't really believe that...) But I might have to buy an inexpensive one until mine turns up. I'm missing documenting the early months of Clark's life! He's already going to want to know why his baby book is much less attended to than F's.--and then to have no pictures! I now fully understand why there are many fewer mementos of the 2nd and 3rd kid, and it's not due to a lost camera.
When we were having so much trouble getting pregnant I would look at the toddlers on the beach and I would feel this ache, thinking how wonderful and sweet it would be to be at the beach with my husband and child. And it is, of course, but not in that warm glow of love kind of way that I imagined. Reality always has sharper edges than you expect, comes laden with the struggle and tantrums and leaky diapers as well as the joy. It's important to remember that it's the combination of the two that makes it so worthwhile.