So I need to update because...well, it's been awhile. We're semi-settled in California, but I still feel like everything is constantly changing around me. The first few years of my marriage, my husband & I didn't have to deal with typical military family issues because we were in Albany/he was doing training/etc., but now all of that's over, and he's going to be away more. He's with an infantry unit here, and though he doesn't have to do the dirty work because of his actual job, there are people in his unit that do the dirty work. This just means that the unit is quite active. He'll be deploying again next year, which I hate because he'll miss so much of Jane's development, but she won't consciously remember Daddy being gone, which I *guess* is a good thing? I'm such a believer in kids being able to pick up the feelings of what's going on around them, even when they're tiny. It's just a mystery as to how much those feelings will affect them in the future.
About two weeks after moving here, Jane & I went to the (new and very, very uncrowded) WalMart in Yucca Valley, and on the way back home I happened to notice a sign advertising the Joshua Tree Philharmonic. I did some research and saw that the group is really just a community orchestra with members that span a range of skill levels, so I made some contacts and ended up at rehearsal a few days after that. I'm actually loving being in the group, and my own skills are rushing back pretty quickly. It's been awhile since I was playing so regularly. I can honestly say that mothers underestimate the need to do something 100% for themselves. Being an active musician makes me feel like myself again, and I'm so thankful that I noticed that sign.
Jane is almost seven months old, and these days she is interactive and wanting to engage with someone about 95% of the time. When we're in public, she spends most of her time trying to catch people's eye so that they'll look at her, then she'll give them a giant smile, and then they'll come over and talk to her. And as long as they don't try to take her away from Mommy, she's all smiles. She usually won't reach out to touch complete strangers, but we were out of town last week, and she reached out and held the waitress' hand. The waitress told us that she had just found out she was pregnant, so of course I can't help but wonder if Jane knew in that way that only a brand new soul can know.
My own attachment to her is growing as she's getting older. Her individuality is really beginning to come out, and that's tremendously endearing. I can honestly say that I've sat up a couple of nights thinking about motherhood and wondering if all mothers feel so attached to their children in such a deep way. What happens to that when children get older? I wonder about my own mother because so much inside of her is unspoken. When my parents got divorced, my father got custody, we moved out, and there was no concrete visitation schedule created. It breaks my heart to think how it must have hurt my mother to have her children leave under those circumstances, but knowing her, I also know that she pushed a lot of those feelings aside. As horrible as I've felt towards my mother in the past, I have a different appreciation for her now that I have Jane.