I am in the shower taking my time, shaving my legs, washing my hair . . . glad to be rediscovering some semblance of the vanity I knew before months of sporadic bathing and routinely forgetting to brush my teeth–before motherhood, that is. Out in the kitchen, my husband is dancing to Mambo Italiano with our 8 month old daughter. When the song ends, the sound of their mingled voices gets closer. I hear him say, “A is for Astronaut or Aerospace” and in my head, I think “or appaloosa . . .” She babbles back and they move on to “B.” This time the word is one I don’t know, likely something to do with space and/or engineering.
Today is swim class day: one of my favorite days of the week. The pool is always fun and even though the class is short, it wears out my sweet Sunshine for the rest of the day. Taking a sip of my coffee (another rare treat, shower coffee, usually these days my showers are too short to enjoy a cup of joe), I think about my life a year ago. I was tired, very pregnant, worried about the future, and so sad to be leaving a life I loved so much for a complete unknown on the other side of the country. I didn’t enjoy being pregnant and while part of me wanted so badly for her to be born so I didn’t have to be pregnant anymore, another part of me desperately wanted to just stay pregnant forever so nothing would have to change.
In the kitchen, I can hear they’ve moved on to “E,” which is apparently for “Electromagnetism.” In my head, I think, “or eventing.” I take another sip of coffee and realize it’s getting late, I should hop out so Carl can head in to work and Sunshine can start her nap. But before shutting off the water, I stand there just one more minute listening to my new life. It isn’t perfect. I still miss my Idahome so much I ache sometimes, and Lord knows I’m going to have to make a friend or two here before I completely forget how to socialize like a normal, adult human. But the beauty of this new life takes my breath away sometimes.
I knew I was going to love watching Carl be a father, but the reality of it is beyond anything I imagined. I hoped we would find a house in the country, but our little farm is straight out of a Robert Frost poem. And I was sure I would love my baby, but what I feel when I hear her little voice babble along with her father’s in the next room makes me wish we had more words for love. I realize I’ve been standing in the shower crying for several minutes now. My coffee is cold, but my heart is warm. Drying off my tears along with the rest of the water, I step out into the chilly bathroom. Carl comes in to remind me he’s late, the baby reaches her sticky hands out for me with a big, drooly, two-tooth grin, and . . .