Gabe enjoying some fresh-picked, Maine raspberries.
We wrapped up a week at the Jenny’s parent’s house, sadly departing our lovely lakeside retreat in Maine. Which is all to say, we’re on the road again, this time to NYC and then Seattle for almost two weeks. But the time in Maine was relaxing, as Gabe’s schedule was split between three adults (a great ratio for childcare), and I reflected a bit on my time being the primary parent.
One of the best parts about being the primary parent is that you get to witness, and sometime be the agent of, the small changes in your child’s behaviors and actions. They might start using a spoon as a tool (like, to eat) instead a toy (like, a yogurt catapult). Or maybe they learn to close a door or can identify their head (shoulders, knees, and/or toes).
And for some reason, I really love these small moments. I find them precious. And I mean “precious” in the literal meaning, “of great value,” not like how some creepy adults say it, He’s just so precious!, with its Gollem-like undertone of I’m-going-to-steal-your-baby-now. In any case, these small moments are the most special to me because they’re all around and constantly happening with young kids, if you keep your eyes open. The problem is that they’re so fleeting and near impossible to grasp and hold on to in any meaningful way.
We’re now wrapping up our last week at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, or as I’ve come to know it: our seaside mansion escape. Our stay has been wonderful and I’m somewhat concerned that Gabe will go into withdrawal, as the energetic, gregarious extrovert won’t have dozens of people to wave and smile at or have rolling lawns to frolic upon. But considering we—as in only Gabe and dad—are going up to visit the Grandparents in Maine, I’m sure we’ll get by. (I will now try to stop ending my sentences with prepositions.)
Next week we begin the next big travel phase, where Jenny flies to Chicago for a week and we go to Maine. This marks the first time ever that Gabe and Jenny will be apart for more than 24 hours. As I said before, it will be a learning experience for all of us. Gabe will learn to get by without Jenny, Jenny without Gabe, me without Jenny—lots of learning! But I think it will be overall beneficial. I’m glad she’s getting to go take advantage of her professional opportunities, but we will definitely miss her when she’s gone and we look forward to picking her up at the airport!
In any case, that’s for next week. This week, nothing “exciting” happened, unlike last week. (Update from last week: The dermabond has finally fallen off and the cut is healing well. I forgot how small the actual cut is.) Other than trying to keep his cut covered and out of the sun, there were some fun and interesting moments:
This past week I’ve gained some perspective on parenting through our travels, but not because of the traveling per se, but because of the environments where I’ve taken Gabe. In the last week we’ve been in two places: on the lovely grounds of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and in inner-city Philadelphia. Continue reading
This week marks the first week of ten weeks of travel, as we’re now on the road in Philadelphia. It also marks the first week of mostly primary parenting. I say “mostly” because my wife will still be helping out a ton, as will her parents for about a week, and of course the legions of babysitters across the land that will hang out with him. But I’ll be the primary, as Jenny is working on a bunch of really cool projects both on the phone with her agents and directors, and on the ground.
Speaking of which, we just found out that we’ll be covering a new piece of ground, as she was selected for another development project, this one in Chicago. The only time available to do it was the two weeks between our time in Waterford, CT and Seattle, WA—which is exactly where it fits! So now we’ll be doing four playwriting development series in four states (but with only one toddler, thank god). Holy logistics, Batman.
After our son was born my wife and I welcomed him into the world and into our hectic lives. In the past year, from June 2014 to June 2015, my son has been on 7 road trips, 4 flights (2 of which were cross-country), and a half-dozen or so day-trips. He has literally traveled every month of his life, and because of this he’s been to 12 states and the District of Columbia. And he’ll add another two states this summer (Washington and Oregon). Most of this travel has been to see family and the rest is for my wife’s work (which is necessary due to my hectic life as a grad student and lack of nearby family).
Traveling with an infant—especially the first time—strikes fear in the heart of most parents. You have no control over your surroundings; comforting routines are strained or broken; you’re dealing with multiple (probably complex) logistics; and you probably forgot something essential for yourself or your child at home. People without kids will probably give you wide-eyed stares and offer you luck like you’re going to face some gauntlet involving minotaurs and mazes. Luckily it’s not that bad, especially if you plan accordingly and are in the right frame of mind. Continue reading