This is a totally weird time for me. The realization is starting to set in that a few weeks from now, our little threesome will become a full-fledged family of four, and Alexa, who has been the center of our universe since January 7th, 2011 is going to go from an only child to a big sister. And while I do believe it when every one tells me that a sibling is the best gift we could ever give to her, it breaks my heart to realize that she will never remember this time of her life when it was (for better or for worse) (yeah, I know, probably for worse) all about her.
After Alexa was born, Brian and I realized how many spur-of-the-moment things we didn't do that we totally should have done when it was just the two of us. I can only imagine that the same feelings will be fostered as we try and juggle two girls, and my mind reels 24/7 with all the things we should be doing now with one. Things that we opt out of because they just seem like a pain in the ass/too much effort/too exhausting for all involved will seem like a colossal impossibility when we add a diaper-wearing, formula-guzzling newborn into the equation.
In the spirit of special memories, we decided to take Alexa to NYC for the night to stay at the Plaza Hotel (like Eloise, natch) and see the Rockettes at Radio City. I won't go into the gory details (let's just say I took Lex to Disney too early and as a result she is none too keen on dark theaters and shows these days) but the best part of the story actually comes from what happened after we came home- a conversation that made the anxiety-filled 24-hour jaunt totally worth it.
My husband and I were re-hashing the events of our escapade. My short answer when asked by friends and family how the trip went was? "We survived." His? "It was great." In an effort to try and better understand how on earth he could even utter the word "great" in relation to multiple meltdowns, dinner-time antics (I again thank Steve Jobs under my breath at least 100 times a week for inventing the iPad), and over a dozen battles of our respective wills (in case you are curious, Alexa's is the strongest) involving everything from getting dressed in the morning to sleeping configurations for the evening, I inquired as to his sanity. I was honestly concerned that he was becoming afflicted with some sort of very early on-set memory loss.
His assessment was totally based on the happy moments and the tiny victories- not the angst in between. For example:
--Alexa's excitement upon seeing our hotel room, and the dance she did on the bed while we took her picture and she sang "Cheese, cheese, cheese!" for the photos.
--Her delight over a lunch of "tea and cake" in the Plaza Food Hall because that, she decided, is what Eloise probably had for lunch every single day.
--Our "Victory Dance" post-Rockettes outside Radio City Music Hall- my joy over seeing her make it through the entire show and, added bonus, enjoy every minute completely trumped any concern whatsoever that the 10,000 passers-by would think us totally insane to be jumping up and down and cheering in the middle of the sidewalk. It was in those 5 seconds or so that all the stress I had been harboring (knowingly or not) since Brian booked the trip earlier in the week melted away. Granted, it came right back when we tried to get her to agree to a horse-drawn carriage ride around Central Park but still...tiny victories...
--The walk home from the show, when all three of us excitedly scurried to the hotel in anticipation of our favorite Sunday pastime- sitting around in pjs and doing nothing for a few hours.
--The hilarity that ensued upon entering said hotel room and discovering a tower of desserts waiting for us. Alexa tried each and every one and told us every little detail about what she liked, didn't like, and which ones we were allowed to sample for ourselves based on her personal flavor preferences.
So, fine. I will cave. He was right. The getaway actually was great. And here is to another few weeks of "glass half-full" assessments of our life as a party of three slowly comes to and end and the next chapter begins...