Monday, September 17, 2012

The Boy Who Would Be a Big Brother

Steve, Jonas and I went grocery shopping yesterday and, like many things, the trip was an insighful metaphore for our lives. The three of us spending time together, doing something that's usually very mundane, trying to check everything off our list, and making adjustments as we go along for Jonas's ADHD (which was is full gear yesterday thanks to a med-free weekend), for Steve's and my Mars and Venus way of doing things, for making decisions about the spontaneous things that come up long the way, and also trying to stop and smell the roses as we go.

As well pulled out of the driveway, Jonas asked if we could take the new baby to Chuck E Cheese when she's old enough. He talked about showing her all the games, helping her with them and making sure that she's ok. It was very sweet. It also set the tone for my personal contemplation throughout the morning.

We started the journey by fuelling up at a local breakfast joint. We lingered over our eggs and pancakes, taking pleasure in chatting pretty much non-stop. The conversation revolved entirely around Jonas, what's happening at school, the girl he has a crush on, and some of the things he's excited by about having a little sister. It was pretty awesome to have this concentrated time for the three of us to talk and get inside that 9 year old head. He's such an awesome kid!

Once our tummies were full, we tackled the grocery store. I had a list, Steve had a list, and Jonas had no impulse control. It was a great example of organized chaos and, I must say, a pretty good example of parental and marital patience.

When we rolled up the cash register, we were faced with fairly long lines to wait our turn. We had to check out and pack up but there was no way we were going to make it, with everyone's emotional well-being intact, if we tried to make Jonas stand there. He was far too impulsive and hyper yesterday to just be still for very long so I decided to take him outside while Steve checked out.

When we got back to the Jeep I realized that I needed to reorganize it to make room for the groceries. I still have camping gear in there from the summer so it's a little cramped in the back and there's not really enough room for a cart full of groceries. It works well for me though. I'm comfortable with it. I adjust my shopping for both the space in the Jeep and my ever-lessing capacity to carry groceries.

As I moved things around, it dawned on me that soon the fourth seat in the Jeep is going to be permanently occupied. In addition to groceries, we're also going to need to have room in the back for a stroller. Just like in the house, and our lives, we're going to have to do some major reorganizing to make room for this new little person.

The person most affected will be Jonas. It was hardly an epiphany, but realized this weekend just how deeply this baby is going to affect him. He adjusted pretty easily when Tasha came to live with us but and a newborn sister is a lot different from one who's going to college. This time he's going to be the oldest and the one who has to do the adjusting.

There is no pause button on a 9 year old boy, especially one with ADHD. It's important it is for us to retain as much of the one-on-one and two-on-one time that he gets with us now. Both Steve and I have always carved out time weekly to spend one-on-one time with him. We need to continue that tradition as he grows older, especially once he's a big brother. Finding time for just the tree us will no doubt prove to be a harder mission but it's one I think we need to make a priority. Of course, we're also going to need to do the same for the new baby. I suspect that finding the right balance to carve out all the time will be a little more difficult than finding room in the Jeep for a stroller but it'll be so worth it!


No comments:

Post a Comment