Today, I spent the day in Chicago for work. It was a fun day of visits and learning, but a long taxing calorie-filled day.
As the tracks rumble beneath my feet, I’m dreaming about returning to Chicago for a fun family visit. Trips to fun restaurants, museums and shops with Ingrid in tow.
In reality this would involve an insane amount of planning, packing and as the questions about car seats start to pop into my head (“Could we take the train and ideally not pack the car seat? Do we need one in a cab? Yes. Could we just…walk or take the L”) – I can almost see Dan and I exchanging looks that say: Is This More Trouble Than It’s Worth?
Often times the answer is No. For example yesterday, we were literally a mile from the mall and realized that we forgot the stroller. In a decision fueled by pure (unnecessary) panic, we decided to go home, grab the stroller and head back to the mall to get Dan a new pair of shoes. We were caught off guard, but our decision to get the stroller was worth it.
The point? I have finally come to grips with the fact that as she gets older and more mobile, traveling with Ingrid presents new challenges that sometimes beg the question – Is This More Trouble Than It’s Worth?
It’s nice to reflect and remember the days when I could just simply toss Ingrid in an infant car seat and carry on about my day shopping and lunching with friends.
But isn't the past always a bit sparklier in our memories?
Because, ten months ago I was painfully calculating her last feeding, her last nap and taking constant diaper bag inventory. I was nursing, recovering from major surgery and adjusting to life with a baby. I was constantly on edge as to what would happen next.
But here’s what I remember. Leisurely lunches with girlfriends, solo shopping trips (during off-peak hours!) and long walks with Harper with a perfectly silent sleeping baby (see, sparklier in memory!).
Yes, Ingrid grows and changes. And so do my priorities. I have surrendered to the fact that we have a baby and some things we did pre-baby just don't make that much sense anymore. Surrendered and lovingly accepted. When Ingrid was first born, we pretty much did everything we did before I got pregnant - we just had a baby. As she's grown and we've settled into life with her. Friday nights with a movie and pizza are welcomed. I just want to chill out and enjoy our family.
Slowing down and focusing on what matters takes effort but it's totally worth the trouble.