Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Talking the walk

It comes down to having chosen the wrong hobbies.

Such was the gist of a grumpy meditation earlier today. Imagine, it ran, if our preferred pastimes had been stamp collecting, bridge or even jogging. The arrival of Sonny in our lives would then have made hardly a ripple in such activities. Sure, we would have had to find time to pursue them, given how the realities of caring for an infant can eat up spare hours. But with a little spousal tag-teaming, it could have been done.

As it happens, what we go in for is long-distance walking. This involves concerted hiking (nothing too heroic, mind), ideally spread out over a few days and ideally in remote locales. Relaxing. Revitalising. And utterly incompatible with attending to our constantly-mewling bundle. And so, concludes the griping interlude, the activity must be sacrificed.

Which reminds us, of course, to pay minimal heed to gripefests, since the basic situation can be as easily seen as a welcome cluster of opportunities. First, it'll be a chance to cultivate new hobbies, into which Sonny-minding can be seamlessly integrated. Blogging is one that has already been launched; there may be others. More generally, impetus is given to better organising our overall time-energy balance, so that couple time, family time and personal time all get their due. The balance was likely out-of-kilter, pre-Sonny.

Finally, while long-distance trailing won't be possible for a while, it will not be long before judiciously scaled-back alternatives become feasible. Whether we're talking about Sonny-in-a-childpack jaunts, or gentle meanderings that a child mastering the art of walking can cut his teeth on, we can slowly rebuild the foothold hiking had in our lives. Except it'll be an even more secure hold.

And those multi-day walks? Ah, Sonny'll be up for them before we know it - and then he'll be leaving us in his dust.