Last night, after a harrowing experience trying to buy groceries at our local Hy-Vee (including having my credit card declined, leaving my checkbook in the car, and having to lug a tired and fussy Griffin back-and-forth through the parking lot to get said checkbook), I drove through town trying to keep Griffin asleep in his carseat for a decent amount of time. Just before we got home, we drove past the park where Duncan played baseball this summer, and I got hit with some serious nostalgia.
It's crazy because all I did this summer was complain about the baseball season, about how everyone got to do what they wanted while I had to take care of a baby that was trying desperately to give up his third nap of the day, but didn't really know how to do it. I complained about working 8 hours a day and then coming home with a fussy Griffin only to have Patrick and Duncan bail on me to head to practice (a WHOLE hour before the game started!). I'd feed Griffin, pack his diaper bag, load him (and every toy and snack known to man) into the car and we'd head to the game. Most of this was done for my own sanity. I could sit at the games around other adults, and maybe, just maybe those adults would want to play with or hold a cute baby.
Despite my best efforts, we'd always get there late and have to park as far away from the field as humanly possible. I'd grunt and groan trying to get the stroller out of the car and do the same getting Griffin situated. Then there was the sunscreen and the hat, which he immediately pulled off his head (and please don't suggest a hat with straps - the kid knows how to work around those, too).
The sad thing is that I don't even remember most of the games. I was usually chasing after Griffin or trying to appease him with some snacks or a book or a toy. A lot of times I'd just take him for a walk. Honestly, it was a lot of work.
But driving by the park last night, with the sun just starting to set, all I wanted was to go back to those early summer nights. Those baseball nights. I'd take the struggling with the stroller and the diaper bag and Griffin just to be able to sit out there and relish the beginning of the season and all that I could look forward to.
This is what I do at the end of every summer. Maybe it's a bit of regret for the things I didn't get to do. The things I forgot to do. The things I didn't truly enjoy. I feel like I spent my summer rushing around, feeling tense, running from one thing to the next. I haven't really stopped much to enjoy things, and now it feels too late.
I'm trying to slow down a bit. Really, I'm trying.