This past weekend was baby Graham’s first big trip to the family lake house for a long Memorial Day weekend. In the past, these trips to the lake with my husband’s family have been filled with relaxation, bikinis and swimming—day drinking by the water and fast boat rides. I knew this time around would be a little different.
(I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a little anxiety about the trip as I packed all the things I thought we’d need now that we have our sweet baby boy in tow.)
The scenic two-hour car ride was not quite the same with a 3-month-old in the backseat. Graham took a nap for about 45 minutes before voicing some major complaints about his car seat confinement. Breastfeeding and diaper change breaks in parking lots made the trip just a little bit longer. When we arrived, Graham’s cousins (four kids ranging from 1 to 12 years of age), aunts, uncles, Maw-maw and Paw-paw were all excited to see him.
I worried about overstimulating him with all the hustle and bustle of so much family in one place, thinking he’d be overwhelmed with all of the attention, but he seemed to love it. It was so sweet hearing him giggle (a new sound that started happening just this week!) at Maw-maw’s songs and smile at his cousin Katy’s “patty cake” games.
Although he’s still pretty stationary at this point, the delight on his face was obvious as he intently watched the kids playing together all weekend. As he sat up supported in my lap holding his head steady and kicking his little legs with excitement watching all the fun and games around him, I thought about how fast he’s developing and how different he’ll be even in a couple of months when we come back for Labor Day weekend. So many sweet memories will be made at this place.
Although I didn’t rock a bikini, sleep in or have cocktails on the dock, this past weekend was amazing in a whole new way. Taking my little boy to the lake house that his daddy and Paw-paw both enjoyed as children felt so special. Graham loved seeing the water, looking up at all the trees in the woods, the rocking motion of the dock and the boat. Beautiful things I’d started to take for granted are all brand-new and exciting for him. Seeing him smile and soak up all these new sights and sounds made my heart feel so full.
I realized this weekend that I needed to let go of some of my new mama anxiety. Yes, things are a lot different when you throw a baby in the mix—but in a great way. Adventures with my husband aren’t over; we just have a new loved one to share the fun with. We might need to pack a few extra things (OK, maybe a lot of extra baby things), and yes, sometimes Graham is going to cry at an inconvenient moment or spit up all over my outfit, but it’s OK!
Messes happen, and sometimes we won’t be prepared—but I wouldn’t trade these sweet new experiences with my little one for anything in the world. Our first lake trip with baby was messy and a little less relaxing than in the past, but it was filled with a whole new kind of fun and excitement that I want to experience lots more of!