In the past few weeks I’ve experienced a number of minor frustrations—regarding newsletter delivery options, other people’s timing, my own ungovernable feelings—and I had planned to write about those feelings here, a place where it is so simple to put down my thoughts, with no editorial oversight. But then a little time passed, and now here I am, and it is my baby’s first birthday, and all I feel is joy.
We woke up at 6am, so all morning I have been ticking off the parallel experiences from our day, one year ago. That day was frigid, we woke up at 5:30, we walked Paul in the dark and we got to the hospital and I wiped down my entire body with antiseptic wipes, fearing that there was no possible way I could be doing a sufficient job and that I would surely die of sepsis. (Spoiler: I didn’t!)
Our breakfast today was probably when we were getting into the car, then; Dave took the baby out to get coffee at probably the time I was ushered into the hospital by a bevy of loving nurses. I ordered too many balloons for delivery at perhaps the time I was disrobing and skeptically cleansing myself of bacteria. The baby and I arrived at the park at around the time the anesthesiologist finally got the needle for my spinal block in (I have scoliosis, so she had to try twice).
The park was wet, as I knew it would be; it’s been raining for three days and there are puddles everywhere, quite uncharacteristically for Tucson. I brought towels and a change of clothes and let the baby go to town, splashing, crawling, sliding down the wet slide. Now he’s sleeping, and on that parallel track he is already born, and that parallel me is trembling, numb, out of her mind with love for this new little life.
From this point on, all tracks lead to the baby: to the second night we were home, alone, when the power went out at 2am. To the cakes Dave baked when he got restless in his paternity leave and fed me while I nursed. To the way none of the diapers fit the baby’s tiny body at first, and the onesies were like enormous sacks. But then he grew.
I still have many thoughts about my work, and sometimes grievances and woes, but today I do not have anything except a boundless gratitude for my child, who is at the moment napping, though who knows for how long. We’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming soon. (I finished the Jon Fosse book! It was good!) But today is not regular, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.