Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Walking Distance

I was just thinking how much my life has become defined by this simple phrase. The weather, broken sleep equalling achy body that never quite gets better, my need to eke out as much down time for myself as I can and the prospect of wrangling two kids has kept us very close to home these past few months. The few times I've ventured out of our little corner of Philadelphia have not gone well for the most part. I end up sticking to places where I know I can get home in a five block walk when the situation implodes as is its wont.

I miss the eight to ten miles a week I used to walk - packing Michael in the stroller, grabbing some diapers and finger foods and just heading out. There were days when we would leave at nine in the morning and not get back until four or five. I would walk laps around Rittenhouse Square to get Michael to fall asleep so I could sit with my coffee and knit for a bit. I'd meet up with friends and let him loose in the toddler pit (a.k.a. the empty fountain). There was even that time when we bought some hard cider and drank it out of Starbucks cups while the kids climbed on the goat statue at park.

Our routine as a family of four has shifted a great deal over the past six months. Popping a baby on your back and grabbing the four year-old for a trip to the zoo involving two forms of transportation is so daunting when you are getting sleep in at best three-hour intervals. We practically live at our local Starbucks. I'm in there on Michael's school mornings while Alex takes his nap. We are also there on Michael's off days - Alex again napping and Michael playing with my Nintendo DS or coloring. On weekends I'm there most of the day sometimes - I head out for quiet/work time in the early morning by myself and then swing back mid-morning for the kids so John can have some time to himself.

After all of this rambling, I guess I never thought I'd still be in survival mode at this point. Granted, it is getting better, but so much of the focus is still on just getting through the day without loosing it with my kids. My oh so favorite phrase comes to mind, dripping with triteness - This too shall pass. It is incredibly frustrating that it's taking so damned long.