Thursday, February 17, 2011

Because I Should've Been an English Major

Jesse and I were in Australia a few years ago visiting my brother while he was there for awhile.  One night we watched a movie that I forgot the name of, and actually don't remember much about the story except a very small part.  The main character had just moved somewhere new, and as he was wandering around his new area, there was this great line about how right now, the things he was looking at - stop signs, store fronts, cafes, etc - are all strange and maybe intimidating.  But it won't be long before these things are familar and part of what makes up this person's home.

I knew we were moving to DC a few weeks after we came home from Australia, and I thought about putting that quote on a wall somewhere in our home.  As places around me became familar, I'd put pictures of them around these words to illustrate how DC was becoming a place I felt at home in. I liked the idea of something starting out as unfamilar and intimidating - maybe even overwhelming - but turning into something I identify with.

Kind of like motherhood.

I didn't pursue this idea, but I think about that scene in the movie a lot, and was reminded of it this Valentine's Day when the girls and I made a morning trip to Hadley Park.
This is a park I've been going to since Hadley was six months old.  Before she was crawling we would come here because the ground was soft and easy to play on.

And four years later, it is still a favorite place to go.
I remember once, when the girls were both in diapers, I realized as they were playing at this park that they both needed to be changed.  That was probably the hardest diaper duty I ever had.  Haul screaming, smelly kids to the car.  Put one screaming, smelly kid in a carseat.  Lay the other screaming smelly kid in the back of the car and change diaper.  Put clean screaming kid in carseat.  Take the other screaming smelly kid out and change diaper.  Go back to the park (for the love of all things good, go back to the park).

It seems that every year the girls and I go somewhere for the first time again, I take notice of how things have changed from when we were there last year at this time.  Our first trip to the park this year, I found myself pleasantly surprised how my role as "spotter" has diminished.  I may put out a hand here and there, but mostly I go to enjoy the sunshine and watch Hadley climb all over the place.

And see Harper go down the "twirly" slide.


and again.

Once, when I was at Calvin sitting in a British Literature class, we were discussing a poem by Wordsworth.  The prof was trying to help us understand what the poem was about, and in an effort to do so he had us think about a place that we return to again and again.  He told us that as the years go by, we change, but this place does not.  When you come back to it, despite what has happened over any amount of time, you know what to do in this place.  You know what it's for.  You can mark time and do a little thinking in this place. Maybe you figure things out about yourself in this place.

That seems like a nice idea of home.


Misty said...

this is such a great post... As i continue to grow older, (34) i'm starting to wonder if the best things might be the ones we didn't plan on...

Keri@GlamorousArmy said...

I hated when my kids were small enough that I had to go with them to the playground. This is why I only have two...I couldn't deal with the "little kid" stage, unlike most mommies. And I would've shot myself at a
On another note...there is this great pizza place in DC..gotta ask my mother in law what it's called. She lives there.

Melanie said...

Beautiful! I love this... isn't it interesting how things go from 'strange' and 'foreign' to basically an extension of your life? Love this post and reminder.

Have a great day!

p.s. the diaper change? I can DEFINITELY relate! ;)

Becky said...

Very nice post. Made me feel good in a hard-to-explain way :)

ThaiHoa said...

THat is too sweet. My little one is not old enough for a park yet, well she can go to the soft ones since she just started walking but I can't wait for those memories. Thanks for the pic and wonderful post. Following you! Glad you are on Bloggy Moms.

Kimberly said...

Thanks for coming by! I'm now following you back! This was such a sweet post! It is very peaceful when the unfamiliar becomes our familiar. I look forward to reading more! :)