A new baby of course.
Last summer I had the helicopter Mommy post about how I was so leery about letting the boys have much freedom. Well with Ashley I've had to let my guard down a bit. I'm not just being neglectful but I have let Austin run amok at the ice arena when I've had to nurse Ashley or something. Today Austin had an eye appt. and I had to dash to the "contacts room" to feed her and Austin stayed with the doctor all on his own. He has to get glasses by the way but that's another post.
And the last couple days I've let Tommy hang out with the neighborhood kids until dusk. Last night it was just next door and I finally had to call to get him to come home. Tonight it was the neighbor a little ways down. I look out my front door and they are about a football field and a half away on the side street in our little circle. Every so often I would look and I could see his red baseball cap in the back yard but for the last 20 minutes or so when he was gone I kept looking out for him. Pretty soon I saw him trudging down their driveway, into the road and walking home. I was just watching him from the front porch and he had his shoes and socks in his hands (they'd gotten muddy) and the closer he gets I realize he is in his own little world singing something. Tommy LOVES singing by the way, I swear he is always singing something. He's embarrassed me a few times with his singing in fact because it's always something odd, sometimes inappropriate (Clarence Carter Strokin as a two year old on the way to Disney World with Grandma in the car comes to mind.) ;) Pretty soon the neighbor dog starts barking and he starts sprinting towards the house. It was quite comical, I start laughing and he finally realizes I've been watching him.
I guess in posting this, lately I've realized that Joe and I are in the prime of our lives. The boys are so much fun. Ashley is a doll. The boys are still young enough to love on and snuggle. Tommy especially is super affectionate, Austin not so much but you might get some sappy love from him if you catch him at the right moment. He just shows his love in strange ways, i.e. blocking doors so you can't leave, or hanging on your leg. Julie found this out Saturday. With Ashley I feel like the luckiest person in the world getting to experience all the joys, the wonder and awe of raising a perfectly healthy baby without taking it for granted like I maybe did with Tommy after all the trials and tribulations we went through with Austin and later Autumn Rose. We are all healthy generally speaking. Our parents are still doing well enough that they can enjoy their grand kids. Life is good. We're established and secure, much different from those volatile 20's where I think we still had a ton of growing up to do although we thought we were true adults. I've got to remember where I came from in the future when my kids are driving me crazy as teens/young adults. They'll turn out okay. (I hope) But for now, I'm thankful for where my life is. I'm thankful for everyday, but just wish they wouldn't pass by so quickly. I blinked and Tommy was 8. Even with a new baby, I'm not ready to let him go too far...just a quick run down the road is far enough for me.