I’m going to preface the sharing of this week’s column by letting you know that I’m feeling much better now.
I can breathe out of my right nostril and I’m not going through as many cough drops these days.
Also, Edie, though not a great napper is a relatively good night sleeper, so I can’t complain really…except for when she chooses the night when I have a head cold from hell (the fourth disease I’ve acquired since her birth only a few short months ago) to wake up every time ten minutes from 2 am until 7 am.
I wrote this column the day after that night.
But today I’m sitting here with a fancy new laptop I bought myself because I’ve been doing most of my work these days from my bed or my chair while the little pumpkin sleeps or swings or squeaks next to me and I feel like it’s a work necessity and she’s sleeping like an angel in her swing right now and I’m not coughing out a lung and we’re going to have steak tonight and so things are going good.
That being said, I still can’t find the debit card I lost two weeks ago after buying a photo album from Shutterfly and accidentally sending it to the address where we lived five years ago.
So I don’t have my mind.
But every day, between the crazy, the sweating, the crying, the snuggling, the explosive and inconveniently timed poops and the mess it’s all made in this house of ours, I am finding out a little more about this thing called love.
And it turns out it’s not what it looked like a few months ago.
And it’s not what I really expected, as in, I’m not who I expected I would be in the middle of it.
It’s wonderfully terrifying, this whole motherhood thing. Wonderfully terrifying one second and the most peace I’ve ever felt the next.
I haven’t smiled or cried so much in my life.
And, as it turns out, even when I think I’ve depleted all of the love I have in this haggard, sweat pants clad, spit up coated body, I hear him singing an off key version of “You Are My Sunshine” to his daughter for the four thousandth time and another wave washes over me and I cry for the thirty-seventh time that day because I know it could just keep getting better…
Coming Home: Love looks different a year, and a baby later
by Jessie Veeder
I don’t think my husband has seen my hair out of a ponytail for a good two months.
The statistics on him seeing me out of my stretchy pants is about the same.
This is the fourth cold I’ve had since this baby was born, and last night that baby was on a timer to wake up each time I finally fell asleep.
It’s the same timer that reminds her to fuss as soon as her parents sit down at their supper plates.
I would say that I haven’t been at my best these days, but at this point I think as good as it can get is a chance to take a hot shower, sleep for three hours straight and breathe out of my right nostril, and that seems to be asking a lot.
Anyway, today my plan was to talk about love, being it’s mid-February and the stores are selling heart-shaped boxes of chocolates. Last year at this time I was likely showered and make-uped and in a black dress somewhere singing to people toasting love, completely unaware that in a year, fitting into that black dress again would be a distant goal.
One that comes after the long overdue haircut.
Last year at this time I would have written about love a bit differently. I would have been more in tune with myself and my husband. I might have mentioned patience and plans and the flowers sitting on the table that he picked up for me at the grocery store in town or how he stayed up that night and waited for me to get home.
Last year at this time I didn’t know that in a year I would be nursing a 2-month old in our bed at 5 in the morning, blowing my nose for the 1,500th time while his alarm clock blasts a rock song and he fumbles around quietly locating his clothes, wallet and cell phone by the light of the television news, set on mute so as not to disturb a baby that I need to fall back to sleep for the love of cough syrup.
It only took a year and the growth and delivery of a new life, but these days I have a different take on love entirely.
Because for nine months my husband slept so far on his side of the bed that one leg was resting on the floor and half his body was on the bed railing. And it’s not because he wanted to keep his distance from his pregnant wife, but more because the woman he loved needed space for her giant body and the giant body pillow she needed to help her sleep.
Love looks like that to me now.
And once that baby was born, love looked like that same man changing every dirty diaper in the first few days he could be home from work, and taking every diaper and helping to give every bath every evening since then.
And I didn’t know this was going to happen, but love looks like me crying because I love my baby, and crying harder because I haven’t been outside in days, and then crying because I think I’m crying too much lately, and a man holding a baby dressed in pink in his arms telling me to take a walk.
And yes, of course, love looks like that baby dressed in pink who fell asleep listening to the click of her mom’s fingers against the keyboard trying to explain to a world (that’s likely already figured it out) that sometimes love can be a compliment on your outfit or the way you wear your hair, but then there’s something really romantic about not mentioning it at all (the sweatpants, the three-day ponytail, the pile of cough-drop wrappers laying around the house).
And to me, that might be the difference between falling in love and being in love forever.