We came back to this beautiful city, our home town, when DD was almost 2.5 and DS was about to be born. At that time our days were unscheduled and very free – DD was not old enough to attend classes without me, and I couldn’t bring DS along to the parent participation ones. We went out every day and mostly wandered around our neighbourhood, since little ones need to get out (both for their sanity and mama’s). Life was about me pushing the double stroller and walking “the circuit” along the shopping streets, then heading to the beach or the park. There was, of course, that brief stint with preschool…but then we dropped out and it was back to being the happy neighbourhood wanderers.
I don’t know exactly when it happened, and I suppose it was one of those gradual changes that sneak up on you, but I’ve recently realized that we don’t spend much time wandering the ‘hood anymore. Since taking on meal planning, I’ve begun to do my grocery shopping in weekly batches. And we seem to be pretty busy these days with activites. DD has gym class on Thursdays, and there seem to have been lots of organized meetups with my local mamas, such as berry picking, knitting in the park, playdates at friends houses, etc. Last week I took the car out every day. And with DD starting at the Learning Centre this fall (2 days a week) we’ll be even more busy ferrying around, and will have even less time to “wander the ‘hood”.
What surprises me is that I’m not feeling sad or melancholy about this. I’m actually excited by it. I think it’s because it ties in with the whole “leaving babyhood behind” thing. I wrote about this earlier, how I feel I’m on the cusp of having “kids” and not little ones, and how that opens up a whole new world of possibilities. And, truth be told, many of those will involve a trip by car (though hopefully not too many; I still prefer walking and transit when it’s convenient). I also think that the whole “get everybody outside before we go insane” thing will also be somewhat alleviated by the kids getting older and also having some outdoor space (if the fates allow). So perhaps that means enjoying being at home more and doing more things at home, rather then feeling as I do pretty much every day right now that if I don’t get myself and the kids out of the apartment before 11 am I’ll lose it.
But the bottom line is, our days of wandering around the neighbourhood with a stroller every day are coming to an end. I know I will always look back on those days with such precious fondness and thankfulness. To me, memories of my Babies’ babyhoods will likely always be represented by the image of me and that red double stroller, striding through the West End with little shopping bags hanging from the handle, and my two little darlings snacking in their seats.