Sometimes things change, and it may be so gradual and subtle that it takes a while for the shift to register. Maybe they are not so much changes as shifts. It's a good word.
A few new shifts becoming apparent recently:
My pants are getting a little looser. I know there is something going on when I'm constantly having to hitch up my best reliable pair of jeans. Not so reliable now. I think this means I may have to find another pair of reliable pants. But I'm okay with that because...
Ever so slightly, I'm losing weight. I had been eating more vegetables and good food, but I hadn't been able to break below a certain postpartum poundage. Now suddenly, it's dropped a few pounds and stayed there. My husband tells me he's noticed me looking slimmer, too.
I'm cooking more. Not only am I cooking more dinners, for goodness sake, but I'm cooking lunches as well. What has come over me? I'm not complaining. It gives me something healthier to feed the little girl when she demands that I feed her food off my plate. Two theories: I'm inspired by Smitten Kitchen's ability to whip up wonderful food in her minuscule Brooklyn kitchen space. And now that the rest of my kitchen cabinets/counter spaces have been installed, I have a nicer, larger, more efficient kitchen space to work with, even without permanent counter tops. I'm getting used to not having to constantly walk to the other end of the room. Instead, it's all in front of me or close at hand. Makes it easier to get right to it. It's niiiice.
The light is shifting in the sky. Spring is inching closer. I'm repeatedly surprised and delighted by finding sunlight falling on new places within the house. It's letting me know that it's March now and I'd better start some more seedlings.
My hair at my hairline continues to grow in in short wavy curls. This is a mystery. I don't think I singed off my hairline or suffered any other trauma. Maybe I get bonus hair as I age?
I'm embracing my parenting routine. Nurse, play, read, kitchen chores, nurse, nap, read, lunch! We work in a lot of reading and playing and goofing off, and it's all learning too. I wanted to be a parent, but I did not expect to be getting so much out of my daily routine. Introducing new parts of the body, reinforcing vocabulary and signs, reinforcing limits with love, reinforcing our lovey connection, singing songs, narrating the world. Wow. It really is a cool life.
My feet really hurt at times. I didn't used to be so tender. I put a lot of stress on them dancing. I am reminded yet again - Ah yes - I need new dance shoes.
I have seen the return of my menses. Apparently, it does show up at some point even when one is still nursing. I'm disappointed that it didn't hold off even longer, but it's just a new shift to deal with. Reminds me that my body continues to adjust and readjust to having given birth and to continuing nursing, but maybe not as consistently or as much as before.
The little girl's awareness is ever expanding. She watches me prime the breast before nursing, and then when I say "okay," she deliberately lunges forward to latch. She notices crows flying high up in the sky. She notices when and what I eat. She notices when we say, "stop right there!" and knows when she chooses to obey or ignore us. She notices the sirens going down the street. She notices when I say, "crap!" and tries to imitate me. Oops! She responds when she sees a car moving or a dog or a cat or a horse in person. "Aooh!" she says, and her whole body jerks with her enthusiasm. Whoa!!! Did you see that??!!! Boy, do I ever. No more wailing like a high-pitched teakettle or grunting like a Wookie. Our little Wookie is ever so slowly growing up.
The yard is getting overgrown and a little shabby. Not much time for upkeep these days. I garden and tweak in five-minute intervals when I can.
The chickadees have returned to check out the feeders, although there hasn't been any seed there for at least two years. Smart bird. I feel badly that I haven't been able to keep up with feeding the birds this year. It's both happy and sad that they remember my stopping point. Smart bird has moved on to other venues. I hope he'll come back when I get my yard act together again.
Some friends have grown more distant. Two friends haven't returned emails in months. Note: I'm not talking about you! :) One is engrossed in supporting her aging mother. The other, who knows? She's not interested in meeting for lunch or talking about her life, so it's hard to tell. But I have other friends who consistently pop up every so often and again. I'm in a new stage of life myself, so maybe my focus is shifting. Maybe some friends are feeling distantly out of my circle. And some friends are evergreen with fresh, periodic contact. Everything is shifting, and I have control over only so much of it.
I'm having parental bonding moments with other parents. I am very surprised. I take the little girl to the park, and other parents strike up conversations. We learn ages and children's names first. We chat about development and encourage our baby to be social or to slide down the slide or to wave or say "thank you." I've not encountered much annoying competitiveness yet. Often, I'll be going through a local store, and my and my little girl's attention will be grabbed by another small child and her parents. We tell our child, "see the baby?" and covertly peek at each other. The parents smile and beam at the other baby, then make eye contact with the other parents if they seem inclined. The babies wave or stare solemnly or smile or try to kiss the other one. The parents encourage or discourage the contact, depending. Little girl mostly stares at anyone- adult or child - trying to be friendly. She can't quite figure it out how to respond. She's not ready to be wholeheartedly open to anyone she meets and so she just LOOKS at them with solemn big eyes. I enjoy being friendly if the parents are not standoffish. I'm still negotiating this whole Parent Conversation thing. It can be fun. I did not see that coming.
I think my sleep cycle is shifting. I'm often feeling ready for bed by eight in the evening, whereas I used to be ready to go dancing at that time. How did that happen?! My husband is very happy that my sleep cycle is apparently - cough, cough - shifting, because I've been a night owl most of the years he has known me, and our differing awake-times sometimes cause conflict. But not so much any more. Except, you know, when I catch a second wind and stay up late writing. Heh.
Life changes don't always come about in a big wave. Often they evidence as little shifts. Interesting, that.