We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation and wildness.
David Orr from "Earth in Mind"

Jun 3, 2008

Becoming Native to This Place

I just started to reread Wes Jackson's Becoming Native to This Place it is about "integrating food production with nature in a way that sustains both." It's fairly farming focused but the concepts are broader how do we live with the land we are on, not impose upon it.

However this isn't about his book, except the title. I am having to learn to become native to this place. This place is having a toddler, being a mother and being a parent with someone else. All of these are the things you don't plan for. People talk constantly about the changes having a baby bring about. But for us a baby was only sort of a change, Alder was easy, other than bars and concerts our life didn't change too much. He just came along happy to be part of our world, looking out from his perch in the Baby Bjorn. Even as he got heavier the switch to the stroller and backpack were smooth.

Since New Years my sweet happy to come along with me little boy has become a person in his own right. He is still sweet and lovable as ever but now he has opinions about everything. About what he wants to do, and when. About what music we should listen to, and when we should not listen to music. All of this is amazing to watch happen but it changes things. So we struggle sometimes with his wants and ours. If he had his way he would be outside every moment of the day until bath time.

In the mornings he still curls up in bed with me to cuddle and talk. We name everything we can see from the bed, in the room and out the window. We sing songs and rhymes. We tickle and snuggle. But now the hour of welcoming the world has been cut to a half hour then he slides down the stairs to papa who will give him some food and take him OUT (his newest word). So I rush to get up to get my brief moments of alone time before Kevin is off to work (this is a rare treat to be at the coffee shop blogging).

Our day is full of the pulls and pushes of two personalities going through the day, getting the must dos done and leaving as much time for just going for walks or playing in the pile of dirt in our yard as possible. But this isn't easy for me, I feel trapped, both by the limits he puts on what we do and by the lack of a car. There is only so much we can do in walking distance from our home. When it rains we are even more limited to our scope of adventure. By the time Kevin comes home I am desperate to have a real conversation, to go to the bathroom by myself.

But being us, the three of us isn't always smooth either. We haven't quite learned how to spend time all together without turning it into tag team Alder watching. We've seemed to have forgotten how to be together. So now we try, we stay together in rooms, not always but less of one of us fleeing. It isn't fleeing from him more trying to find our own little moments. We've realized that while Kevin may need 14 hours a day to work on his business our weekend time is precious that we need to spend it all together as much as possible.

It is all learning how to be together as family, as three people with likes dislikes needs and wants. It isn't easy but everyday we seemed to be able to do it a little more naturally. But there are still blowouts as we become native to this place of being three.


Erin said...

Well said! We struggle with the same things over here. It's a constant learning process that I don't think will ever end :)

Christy said...

It does get easier as the kid gets older. 2-4 was the hardest age for us with Logan. I do understand feeling trapped and just needing some time alone. Again, it does get easier with age.