Today at the library I checked out a book on color schemes. We’re finally starting to decorate our house, and I’m loving how it’s coming along. The furniture, the colors, the textures. Everything says ‘cozy,’ and it’s becoming a place I’m proud of and a place I want to be.
Of course, with all of the changes, there’s this voice in the back of my head reminding me of the very real chance that in two years the army may decide to relocate us. If not, then my husband only has two more years before he retires, and then who knows where we’ll end up.
So tonight, as I’m cuddling with my main men in bed, my mind wanders – when it’s time to move on, what will I miss most about this house? And the answer is immediate: this is where we brought home our baby.
Suddenly, I want to go back in time and undo all of the changes we’ve made. Here I am, correcting all of the ‘imperfections’ in my environment, not realizing that one day I will look back and associate them with September 1st, 2013 – the day our lives gained another level of purpose.
Yes, I want to be comfortable in the house I’m living in. But I wish I had at least documented the way things were before. Was it pretty? No. But it was a symbol of that chapter of our lives.
I know exactly how I will picture it in my brain forever:
The post-baby-hibernation-mess that happens when you haven’t left the house for weeks because you’re learning how to care for another human being. (Burp cloths stashed in every corner!)
The embrace of stillness as my universe, all 7 lbs 12 oz of it, rested peacefully on my chest.
The ever-present dim lighting, making it feel like it was always a varying degree of nighttime.
Maneuvering through laundry piles to rescue a distressed newborn at three in the morning.
The rigid tension in the air those nights he refused to sleep and I thought it might kill me.
I’ve heard women comment, occasionally, on their fear that they won’t be able to love their second baby as much as their first. At the time, I remember thinking something like, “Well that’s just silly! Of course you’d love your second as much, right? Isn’t that innate?” But now, I understand. Kenneth and I, we’re battle buddies. We learned something scary and new together. We figured each other out, and he was patient with me as I knocked down the walls that allowed me to meet his emotional needs. Now we have this bond, this crazy-insane bond, and I can’t imagine what it would take to build something similar with number two – to be honest, I can’t imagine why I’d invite another family member into this nicely-balanced triad we have going. Gosh, that sounds so mean! (Future second child, I apologize to you!)
But I digress. I suppose what I’m trying to say is, time goes by so fast. Before you know what’s happening, your walls are a different color. And ya know what happens next? You’re packing up the house you brought your baby home to and moving across the country.
During the aforementioned cuddle session with my boys, I had my hand on Kenneth’s little foot, and as he startled he brushed my hand with the toes of his free foot. I was reminded of the butterfly-kicks in my belly, before I’d ever laid eyes on those precious little toes. Holding his little feet, I would have given anything to live in that moment forever. Or even to stop time just for a little while. Instead, I’ll go back to bed, and fall asleep praying that he won’t be all grown up when I open my eyes in the morning.