Fourteen Months…

…in which I look at my life in the past year.

I can’t believe it’s been fourteen months since I wrote anything in this blog. Even that entry ways simply an excuse to share some old photos. Really the last time I wrote was nineteen months ago, almost to the day. In that last discussion, I tried to convince myself that the key to writing, and continuing to write, depended on my ability to remove myself from the self-importance of the text and to focus simply on the act of writing.

(“How’s that working out for you?” asks my condescending inner monologue.)

So here I am, almost two years later, but a lot has changed. Fortunately my audience is microscopic and made up almost exclusively of people I know personally. Any news here would be tired and redundant. Big things in the past year are an office shakeup, my son growing up a bit, a renewed fervor for gaming, and the iPad upon which I type. None of these have changed my life, considerably, more than the continued growth and development of my son (though the iPad runs a close second).

He continues to develop into a wonderful, brilliant; though tragically, and paralyzingly timid little boy. If his demeanor is anything like mine when I was his age, I can understand why my parents so often pushed me to do things. If I was even remotely that tentative with the world, I understand the urge to latch on to anything that seems to spark his interest to any degree and encourage him whole heartedly.

The one curse that we have fallen under, most recently, is his need to “play with us.” While Heather and I have always been plagued with the inability to just drop him off with doting grandparents and hit the town, his constant need for attention has really started to wear down our tolerance.

Our observations of fellow parents of children his age would indicate that he put off this incessant desire much longer than his peers, for which we are thankful. That consideration on his part, however, does not seem to help our psyches when he’s flailing his body against us saying “I need someone to play with me!”

I realize, now, that we kind of missed the boat in our neighborhood, having our child apparently directly in between the families to the north and south. The family to the north had a baby barely toddling when we moved in and “had we gotten on the job” right away, would have produced a playmate for her and we’d have a permanent play-date for him only spitting distance away. To the south, we have recently noticed a former teen’s room being converted into a pink, frilly nursery; and just Wednesday, I noticed a pink stroller being pushed around their front yard. Again. a perpetual play-date opportunity missed by only a few years.

We have teasingly suggested that my parents should move back to Texas and live somewhere in the North Texas area. I feel a tad guilty about this, since it’s not like we had any local family in our area when I was growing up. Despite that twinge, it would still be really nice to have someone who cared for him as much as we do within a short drive away who wanted nothing more than to have him show up on their doorstep every couple of weeks, just for playtime.

Recently, we struck back up a bargain with another grandparent-less couple in our neighborhood to have regular date nights. Several months ago, we fell out of the habit, but for a while we made an arrangement whereby we would watch their kid once a month and they would watch ours in return. Heather and I will be going out this Sunday and even though it was via text (since we were both at work), I presented to her as a genuine invitation to go out.

The problem with the renewal of this arrangement lies in the fact that our companion couple is due for their second child, and we are blissfully beyond the newborn stage with no desire to travel backwards. I fear that it is finally time that we broach the subject of *gasp* baby sitters.

This leads me back to the neighbors to the north. Not only do they have a daughter who is several years older than Ansel, they also have a second daughter who is in her teens and has been certified as a baby sitter by the City of Denton (the fire department has a class that they offer to Denton teens). We’ve never once called on her, though she’s offered more than once. We’re foolish to have not taken advantage of it. Maybe we’re over protective (she’s practically a stranger, we’re not good neighbors). Maybe we’re overly frugal (babysitting is an expensive racket, I’ve heard). Whatever the reason, we’ve just never done it.

Never-the-less, we have a date on Sunday, and I hope for it to be the first of many to come. I love my boy, but he really needs to get a life of his own!

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