Wednesday, March 8, 2017


I spent a lot of time last fall helping Luke do his firefighter puzzle.  It's made for kids but I had a hard time, every time, not taking over and just doing the whole thing because it was strangely satisfying, even though it was only 46 pieces.

It reminded me that I used to do puzzles, back before Luke was born.  Those first months of parenthood are weird.  Looking back now I felt like I lost myself a little bit, putting so much of my waking hours into keeping a little person dry, fed, and clean.  I didn't feel lost at the time but it was a huge shift and it took awhile to adjust and get back to my own hobbies and habits, and feeling like I was taking care of myself and not just a baby.  I don't think I'm alone in those feelings.

I realized I had these puzzles that had (somehow, miraculously) escaped all my garage sale purging and I had movies I wanted to see but hadn't been making the time for.  I had wanted to do puzzles again after helping Luke with his so many times.  Then all of a sudden it hit me.  I could do puzzles while watching movies, during quiet time or when Matt had Luke in the basement or they were running errands together.  So in January I started doing puzzles again.

Luke is big enough that I can leave them all over the dining tables for days (weeks) and he doesn't mess with the pieces.  Which is good because the one I'm working on now I've been working on for more than 2 weeks and still not done with the darn sky (seriously, how many shades of white and beige can there be?). 

I've gotten through 6 movies and I'm on my 4th puzzle.  And I've really really enjoyed it.  There is something so addicting and calming about putting together a puzzle.  Also, frustrating when you can't find any pieces that are fitting and you told yourself (and your 3 year old) that you would quit after one more piece and he's pointing out that you tried 20 pieces and doesn't that count as one more piece?

But mostly, relaxing.  I work it them mainly during quiet times but also sometimes when we have an extra 30 minutes before lunch and Luke is playing with something.  It's easy to talk to him while I look for puzzle pieces, not something I can do while reading.  It's easy to pick up a few pieces while talking to Matt about our days.  Basically, it's what I do during down time.  And "30 minutes" easily turns into 45 minutes...I don't know how the clock goes by so fast when I'm only getting a piece or two in...

Now I'm having rare "garage sale regret" for the few unopened puzzles I put in the pile over the years thinking "I don't do these any more!".  But I still have a few and some I don't mind doing over and over again, like this one which has the prettiest pieces (that sky!) and enough colors that it's pretty quick to get through.

It's nice after almost 4 years of this parenting gig to still find pieces of myself that I hadn't see in years, to (for now) be past that "the kid is into EVERYTHING" stage of parenting.  It's nice to have something somewhat mindless but yet so satisfying to work on.  It doesn't take the same brain energy as reading or writing blog posts or sewing or even out mind-gaming a 3 year old.  (Seriously, how is he so good at manipulation already?).  I've just really enjoyed my puzzles this winter.  Sometimes it's just the little things.

No comments: