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Seven weeks old.

It’s difficult to fathom how much life has changed in the last (almost) two months. I am all but done with graduate school (for now). I’ve started training for a half marathon (yes, I’m crazy. And apparently a masochist). I’m a father again (and there was a time within the last few years when I’d have laughed at the idea). We’ve all rearranged schedules and responsibilities to maximize time at home, both to help Aimee and spend time with Connor.

I feel like a broken record, because I know I’ve talked about this a lot. “This” being our adventures into parenthood and how life has changed. But that is pretty much the biggest thing in my life right now. Our lives, more accurately.

We’re all handling parenthood just fine. Mich, who was very nervous about breaking the baby at first, is turning out to be a fine baby wrangler. Aimee is a natural mother, going at it with the gusto she brings to everything she does. Ian doesn’t know it, but I keep catching him with a goofy grin on his face.

He doesn’t think we’re paying attention.

As for myself, I cannot complain. The semester ended in early May, so I get to spend a lot of time home caring for the baby. And that really is how I think about it. I’m lucky to be in a family where I don’t have to immediately run out and start finding a job, any job, in order to make ends meet. I can take my time, look for the right opportunity, and finish preparing for my exams. This means I can take some of the work from Aimee so she can get back to being one of the family breadwinners. It makes sense on a lot of levels, this change.

It’s more surprising how little some things have changed. We’re still going out to some of our favorite restaurants. We’re still managing to keep up with household chores. We’re still going to yoga classes, social events, even the theater, in various combination up to and including all four of us. We’ve puzzled out how to travel with an infant. Most of the family (your erstwhile narrator excluded, stupid comp exams) went to Mass MoCA today. For those of you scratching your heads, that would be the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, a wonderful place that lies hidden in the shadow of Mt. Greylock, up in North Adams. For the record, that’s a three-ish hour round trip drive. Our little trooper was out for over nine hours today and everything went without a hitch.

Well, almost. Must remember to pack the magic mommy juice with ice packs EVERY time. Or it’s not pretty.

So what all this means is that we are settling down into “normal” life (our kind of normal, anyway), and things aren’t as different as we thought they would be.

Except, of course, in all of the ways that they are.
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Before I get into how my family spent our first Mother's Day, I'm going to talk about Connor for a bit. The Great Formula Experiment continues. He's gaining weight, and getting longer, so we're going to keep on supplementing Aimee's milk while we try to figure out how she can make more, or if we can change her diet to make it richer. Connor's innards are finally cooperating with the new diet, and exploding baby bottoms are a thing of the past.

In the last few days, Connor has started smiling. He did it with me first, late last week. I wasn't sure it was real until he did it more than once. For those unaware, babies can first smile due to gas, impending bowel movements or Democratic victories at the polls. Got to rule everything out to before you can be sure your baby is smiling at you and not for something else.

Saturday was Noho Pride. The whole family went, and four out of five of us marched. Actually, one was carried, but we'll count that anyway. I stayed at the table for TBC to keep an eye on things. Not much to report other than that. Pride is always great, we ran into a lot of friends and acquaintances that met the baby for the first time, and good times were had by all.

Sunday was Mother's Day. It was our first as a family, so we had some special plans in mind. It started off simple, with cards. Ian got the two moms matching pendants, and later this week, I'm going to take them out to select matching beads for their bracelets. Like those Pandora beads, ya know?

We started off trying to go to breakfast at our favorite place. It's called Three Cafe, a tiny little place down the street from us that uses farm-fresh, organic ingredients. Sadly, they are always busy on the weekends, and for Mother's Day, they had live jazz outside on their patio. The wait was at least an hour, so we gave up and headed north.

We headed north because our main plans for the day had us going to Montague (which is a bit north of Amherst, most of the way to Greenfield, for those of you that care). Of all places, we ended up at the Route 9 Diner in Hadley. A lot of local social groups meet there, so it's a place we all eat at quite a bit. Back in the day, when Aimee and I were still doing Rocky Horror, it was the cast's after-show eating place. Getting there is easy. As we liked to say (and the current cast still does), "It's a diner. On Route 9. In Hadley. Figure it out!"

The first stop after breakfast was the Bookmill. Their motto is perfect, "Books You Don't Need in a Place You Can't Find". It's the bestest used book store in all of western Mass., and one of the best I've ever had the pleasure to waste time in. It's an old mill building, with a nice waterfall out back, with books winding through the building on two floors. It's a really good thing it's so far from home, or we'd be there a lot, and spend far more money on lots of books we don't really need.

I didn't mean for this blog post to turn into a travelogue.

The main event of the day was at a place called Red Fire Farm. It's a local organic farm, with two properties, one in Montague and the other down our way, in Granby. Last fall, we ran a 5k race on their Granby farm called the Tomato Trot. It covers most of their farmland, and ends near the tomato greenhouses and farm stand. It was a blast, and I'm already looking forward to doing it again. Last summer, we bought a lot of produce from them at the Forest Park Farmer's Market (every Tuesday from May through October), so this year, we simply signed up for a CSA.

For Mother's Day, they were running a workshop on making planters, followed by tea. About thirty people showed up. We made a nice little planter of herbs in a hanging basket to put on the porch, with a few left over to put outside in our garden box. The day included a short ride and tour of the farm, run of the greenhouse and homemade pastries to go with the aforementioned tea. The weather stayed sunny and nice all day.

The best part? We were just hanging out, being together, having fun. In the last month, we've spent so much time together that we should be ready to kill each other, or at least getting on each other's nerves. But that's not what's happening. We've been a family unit for a long time, but with Connor's arrival, we've suddenly hit a new gear we didn't know we had. It's been a wonderful ride, and shows no signs of stopping.

Back in March, we did a talk/presentation/Q&A session about polyamory for a conference at Hampshire College. We talked about our family, how we came together, how our dynamics work, stuff like that. Some folks in the audience expressed disbelief. We made it sound too easy. The way we've been living lately reminds me of that. It does feel easy, and if I were reading someone else's blog, I wouldn't believe it, either. But it only feels that way because we laid the groundwork years ago. Being poly isn't easy. We're constantly checking in with each other, talking about our lives, our goals, our fears, all that relationship stuff. Our family didn't happen automagically, although someone just meeting us now wouldn't really know that.

I kinda wish I was writing about the formation of our family back when it was happening. Well, I did some of that, but more in the vein of "this stuff happened" rather than writing thinky-thoughts about the process. So consider this an invitation, dear readers. Ever wanted to ask me/us a question about our family? Let me know, and I'm make them the subject of a future post.


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January 2012

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