Suburb life

The rhythms of my life have changed since our move to the suburbs. I wake up earlier, commute longer, get to work later. I have less time to cuddle with my toddler on the couch in the mornings, when her bedhead hair tickles my chin as she nestles into me, drinking her milk and laughing at Sesame Street. She goes to bed later, now, to compensate for my later return time. I'm pregnant again, and between the exhaustion of moving and the fatigue that should have disappeared a few weeks ago and the incessant heat, I end up collapsing on our couch, unable to summon the energy to even order a new rug, every night. 

So things are different, but better, if you ask me. 


We have a house now and it is glorious. Today I worked from home, sitting alone up in our third floor attic-guest room-my office, sitting in a new desk and chair my husband just put together for me, next to a trio of windows offering a view of greenery, of rooftops, of birds landing on my garage, waiting for rain. On Saturday I sat in our yard, resting my feet in my kid's baby pool while she occupied herself for a solid 45 minutes -- if you are a parent you understand what an achievement this is -- and stared in awe at how much she has grown, at how much joy she brings to us.  

It's a long summer. The world, from a grand perspective, is terrible. Things everywhere are crumbling. So tonight I am marveling at how I'm still able to find pieces of good things, small places where things are not just okay but wonderful, in this kind of climate. I hope you all do, too. 


My baby turns one this week. I'm only just beginning to come out from under the wonderment. 

I have a baby, I have to remind myself still, sometimes. I have a baby who is my buddy, who grips me fiercely with one hand while she walks around our house, who leans in and collapses into me when she's sleepy. I have a baby who has two teeth on the bottom and four teeth on the top; who scrunches up her nose when she smiles. I have a baby with eyes that gleam a dark navy, that fill with tears when she accidentally bumps her forehead into my mouth, leaving a tooth-shaped bruise like a third eye. 

Because it's important to be honest about parenthood, I confess: In the beginning I thought Please go quickly. Let the days be fast and furious. Let me fast forward to this day, when she is one, when I won't have to wonder what she wants and why she's crying. Let me zip through 365 days. An entire Rent song. 

Well. It did. And I am sorry about that. And part of me wishes for one early day to be dropped into now so I can relive it. Because I think I'd do it all differently. I think I'd appreciate it more.

I try not to be secretive about the fact that I think I did those first few months all wrong. That I handled things poorly. But I also try to be gentle with myself, because what is the point of all that regret? I did the best I could, those early days. I'll do better next time. 

One year ago today I went into labor, waking up before sunrise, wondering what that sensation was that was causing a low-grade, dull pain to spread across my back. It took me hours to realize this was it, this was labor. It was all happening. 

What's funny is, now I know that it's always all happening when you have a little one. Every day, something is happening. A new facial expression, a new sound. A new ability, a new love.