Today has been a wonderful parenting day so far. It is one of the top 5 days in the past 3 years of me being a parent. The 3 of us went downtown Plainfield for a La Leche League meeting. A few days ago I thought it would be nice if afterwards we had a picnic and played at a park. (It's a park we've never been to that is about 3x as big as our neighborhood park.) I planned all this knowing today would be 80 degrees, sunny and near perfect weather wise. So we walked 5 minutes along downtown Plainfield to get to the park. Our picnic was perfect. Buddy Boy was quiet the whole time, laying on our blanket and just looking around, taking it all in. Kiddo ate all her PB&J sandwich without a hitch. She wasn't overly anxious to get to the park, which was within view of our shaded tree where we were eating. After a peaceful, non-eventful lunch, Kiddo ran over to the park and played beautifully. Buddy Boy hung out in the stroller, awake the entire time yet not making a peep, just enjoying the weather too. So I was able to play with Kiddo while keeping an eye on Buddy Boy. Afterwards, Kiddo wanted to go in the stroller but Buddy Boy was in it, so I wore her on my back. Normally she complains about 30 seconds after getting in a carrier, but today she was perfectly content to hang out on my back, chatting with me while we walked the 5 minutes back to the car. Yep, it was just about as perfect an afternoon as I could ever hope for.
And as I was standing in the park, watching Kiddo play, gently rolling Buddy Boy back and forth in the stroller, surrounded by 2 dozen moms and their kids...I somehow felt...official. How odd to feel that way after being a parent for 3 years, but since Buddy Boy's birth, that's the most accurate word I can use to describe how he has made me feel and our family feel. Official. I know that before he was here, we were a family and I was a parent to Kiddo. But now that he's here, it all seems more real somehow. I feel like I'm really in there, covered in mud, parenting my kids. Sometimes it's not easy. Before it was pretty much always easy because Kiddo is so easy going. But now, even when Kiddo is easy going, Buddy Boy might need me, Kiddo might need me, the house might need me. No more coasting through the parenting thing for me. And our family feels so much more complete now that Buddy Boy is here. Again, we were a family before, but somehow now we are more. It's not just the three of us...with a stool that has 3 legs, knock one leg down and it falls. That was us before Buddy Boy. Now we have 4 legs. One gets knocked down and there are 3 more legs to lean on. I know it sounds confusing, it's hard to explain and even harder to feel myself, but that's my reality right now. I love having Buddy Boy here with us. I love that he has made us complete. I love what he has done to our family unit. I love that I now feel we are...Official.