Monday 7 May 2012: Cranberry Pond
So, as many of you have already guessed, I'm in Massachusetts visiting my brother, the first time we've got together in all of four years. My mother is also here, so it's been completely wonderful today to catch up with three generations of my family. My little nephew Jake is adorable but very demanding. I've spent a lot of time today trying to recall memories of the times when my own boys were this age, just a month old, but it's been quite hard. You'd think that because it's so intense it would all be indelibly printed in the mind, but my recollections are surprisingly vague. To witness just how full-on it is being parents to a new-born has been quite a shock - despite having been through it twice myself.
Discussing this with my brother today he told me that he'd heard of a proposition that we are genetically programmed to forget just how intense those few months of parenting really are - in order that we repeat the process again and again! The sleep deprivation functions to prevent the memories being laid down. It's an interesting theory, one which I'm quite prepared to buy into in order to make myself feel better about having so little recall of this unique time of life. Mind you, it possibly wasn't as hard for me as a lot of guys as we had the babies in bed with us for the first year of their lives. There weren't too many occasions when I had to get out of bed in the middle of the night to deal with a wailing baby.
It's been a beautiful day here today so, with the weather set to be wet tomorrow, I took the opportunity to get out on the bike (which I took out with me) and enjoyed a 50 odd mile ride out to the top of the Sugarloaf above Sunderland and Cranberry Pond under Mt.Toby. I always feel a great sense of excitement when I build my bike up and take it out in a whole different country, especially when the skies are blue and the sun feels warm. It felt worlds apart, in every sense, from my ride out to the cricket on Saturday through a hailstorm!
It's a bit of cliche that evertying in the States is bigger than back home, but it's pretty much true. A pond back in England is usually tens of feet across and sits in the back garden. Here a pond is a fully fledged lake!