Monday, July 11, 2011

The Play's the Thing

Julian enjoyed his first night out at the theater (or should I say "theatre"?) last night.How does one take an eight week old to see a play? Thanks to summer, outdoor theater in Seattle is abundant, so yesterday evening we caught a performance of the improvised classic, "The Lost Folio", wherein a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions was created on the spot using audience suggestions. Julian didn't offer any suggestions, unless you count suddenly shrieking. What brought on the unexpected outburst? A few minutes later he burped, then all's well that ends well.

The brilliance of outdoor theater with a baby was that by positioning myself at the edge of the audience I was able to make a quick exit if needed, or simply walk back and forth with my son in my arms from the back of the crowd, disturbing no one, yet still able to enjoy the show myself. I could also pass him off to Michael and take my seat back on the grass to enjoy some of the delicious picnic that had been assembled between us and our friends - quinoa salad, Vietnamese spring rolls, barbeque turkey meatballs, cupcakes, and more.

In years to come, I hope Julian will learn to enjoy seeing live theater for himself, but in the meantime, it's great to know that he can tag along while his parents enjoy a summer evening out. A free show, friends, great food, and a sunny spot on the grass without having to pay for a sitter make the most out of our fleeting summer eves.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Homa Again, Home Again

After ten nights at my parents' house in Oregon, we are back in Seattle, readjusting by doing laundry, sleeping in our own bed, washing bottle in our own sink, and learning how being back in our room affects Julian's sleep schedule and how every day he smiles more and more.

In point of fact, I don't think I've spent quite so much time at my parents' place in one shot since I left home for college at the age of eighteen. The Willamette Valley was gorgeous, all rolling green hills carpeted in vineyards and stands of oak over plains of newly mown hay and wildflowers. Now, looking out my dining room window, I'm greeted by rain over the gray roofs of my neighbor's homes (but it is supposed to be sunny again later today, right? Right?). Still, it's comforting to be back. And I needed to be reminded that in Seattle I should not leave the laundry out to dry on the porch overnight without first checking the weather report.

Since this was our first overnight trip with Julian, it was also a good lesson in how much stuff one needs when traveling with an infant. Fully stocked diaper bag, an assortment of onesies and sleepers, the ever popular "buzzy seat" to occupy him without us having to hold him every waking minute, play mat, baby tub (I don't quite feel comfortable washing him in a full sized bathtub yet), and a box of disposable diapers (no diaper service at my parents, and I wasn't about to spend ten days washing out cloth ones), not to mention all the breast pump equipment and bottles (our boy needs a little - OK, a lot - of help in the feeding department). Considering that we also need to make room for our dog, the Mazda 5 was filled to the gills.

Traveling with baby also lent itself to a much more, let's say, leisurely vacation. While our trip was bookended with family events, the week in the middle was spent at home, watching the baby, washing bottles, and painting fence boards for a backyard project to be completed up at our place later this summer, all while our car was in the shop getting some minor body work done tax free. I'm not accustomed to pacing myself quite so slowly, or not getting out at least once a day, but Julian is changing rapidly, and I realize it is only a matter of time before his horizons expand beyond our little household.

In the meantime, I'm glad to be back in Seattle, where our little day trips - walks to the farmers' market, evening concerts in the park, an hour or two relaxing at a cafe - keep me going.