I have posts to write. Things I want to share. Questions for you all, explorations, photographs. And I’ll get to all of that soon, I promise. But today, J sent me an e-mail entitled “My Perfect Day,” and tonight she gave me permission to share [most of] it with you. This isn’t a real day, not one we’ve lived nor one we are likely to live any time soon. It’s just my wife’s current imagined ideal. There’s so much between these lines. So much implied with each sentence, each desire. That this is my wife’s fantasy day is so lovely. What a wonderful creature I’ve married.
A few things to note before reading:
- “G” is a little baby to whom J is currently donating milk. His mom has had a rough time.
- In my wife’s fantasy day, SHE makes breakfast and does the dishes. Adorable.
- Oh, for an afternoon stroller (and not in-arms) nap. This WILL happen, right?
- No neighborhood lawn boy – Skip or otherwise – weeds our lawn. If anyone knows of a Skip, though…
- In J’s fantasy day, she has found us an imaginary babysitter [so far we've only left B once, and that was with extremely trusted friends] who both adores Bram AND plays with the cats. The degree to which our cats are neglected haunts me MUCH more than it haunts her. J’s inclusion of this one detail lets me know how much she loves me.
- Does a gluten-, soy-, and dairy-free dessert even exist? If so, someone should make it for us.
- In her fantasy, our boy is sleeping in a sleep sack, which means we’ve successfully weaned him off of swaddling. Gods bless her for imagining us on the other side of this process.
- Finally, how adorable is my wife?!?
I wake up of my body’s own accord at 8:00 in the morning. Bram is still asleep in his crib from the night before. At this point, he’s clocked nine hours, so I know it will be over an hour before he’s awake. I stretch out and open my eyes. R’s warm, sleeping body is curled up next to me. Sunlight is streaming in from the sides of the blinds. Both cats are curled in a warm, contented ball at the foot of the bed.
I get out of bed quietly; careful not to disturb my sleeping family. I creep downstairs, open the blinds, turn on the monitor, and pump. Because Bram is sleeping through the night, I’m able to pump 10 ounces in 15 minutes. It feels good to pump. I can make a big weekend bottle for Bram and two freezer bags for G. Then I get started on breakfast. I know that R doesn’t like overly complicated foods first thing, so I make a simple egg scramble with hash browns and gluten free toast. There’s fresh-squeezed juice and freshly brewed coffee (with real local cream for Renee and coconut milk creamer for me). I set the table with placemats and napkins, and I cut a quick bouquet of flowers from the garden for the center of the table. I turn on NPR very quietly in the background. The morning sun is warm and relaxing. All feels right in our tiny cottage.
First, I hear R stirring. I can almost hear the contentedness of her slowly coming out of sleep, stretching out in the bed, realizing there are good smells coming from downstairs. A few minutes later, I hear her soft footsteps on the stairs. Her sleepy smile and bedhead are just too cute. She’s so excited about breakfast, about the boy’s good sleep, and about the day ahead of us. We leisurely eat and dress. Eventually, Bram begins to stir. I go to him and we have a nice morning nurse. R gets him changed and dressed for the day while I attend to the morning dishes and the laundry.
By 10am we are all fed, dressed, and ready to go. We head out to the Farmer’s Market where we pick up the week’s delicious CSA (lots of hearty kale, heirloom tomatoes, a load of fresh spinach, carrots, peppers, and radishes). We stroll around the market carefully selecting delicious food for the week’s menu. We visit with friends. Bram takes it all in riding around on R’s chest. He seems to delight in all of the sounds and colors and smells. On our way home from the market, we stop by the co-op to finish off our week’s shopping. After the yield at the market, we only need a few items. We pick-up treats for the afternoon and I notice that three more strips have been taken off of the doula flyer that I hung last month. As I already have two families on my docket, this could be the third family that I need for certification. I’m feeling really good about this new path.
After the co-op, we head home. Bram has some nursing while R puts together sandwiches and huge salads for lunch. After lunch, I clear the dishes while R and Bram begin some floor time. Bram’s gotten so good at rolling over and grabbing his toys. He’s started to vocalize a lot more now, and we really feel like he’s grasping the baby signs that we’re teaching him. It seems like we’re on the verge of some big “firsts.” The three of us enjoy stories, toys, kisses, and songs together. When we can tell that he’s getting sleepy, we head outside. Bram has gotten comfortable taking his long afternoon nap in the stroller, so R pushes him all around while I go for my run. We’re out and about for well over an hour. The weather is beyond perfect. We see so many of our neighborhood friends playing with their families, as well. Life is good.
Bram is so asleep when we get back from our walk that he lets us put him down in the Mamaroo. We’re both able to finish our respective workouts before Skip (yes, Skip) the neighborhood lawn boy comes over to garden for us. We give Skip thirty dollars knowing that our whole garden will be mowed, edged, weeded, and otherwise perfected by dinnertime.
R and I take turns showering and being with the boy. By 6pm, we’re both cleaned up, Bram has been nursed and changed, and there are two fresh bottles for him in the fridge. Our loving and trusted sitter arrives in time for our date night. We feel incredibly safe about leaving Bram with her. They have a good relationship and we can always tell that Bram has been well-cared for when we come home to him. She even does the dishes and plays with the cats while Bram sleeps. She’s a Godsend and we always fall over ourselves trying to pay her more money, which she will only reluctantly accept.
It’s 6:30pm and Renee and I are out on the town. We have dinner reservations at [a restaurant we love but really can't afford] to properly fete our recent accomplishments. The dinner is perfect, candlelit, and intimate. We both love our food and our gluten, soy, dairy free dessert. We arrive at the movie theater (for a movie we’re both excited to see) with enough time to take pictures in the photo booth. The movie is good. Really good. And by 9:30, we’re feeling connected, relaxed, and like no-one has leaked any bodily fluids on us for over three hours. We’re so excited to see Bram that we talk about him the whole ride home. When we arrive, the sitter is feeding him the last half of his second bottle. He’s got that glazed over sleep look in his eyes. She recounts the fun they’ve had, we pay her well, and say goodnight.
Together, we get him into his sleep sack, rock him and sing to him, and put him (fast asleep) into his crib in our room for another great night’s sleep. It’s only 10:30pm at this point. R and I are feeling rested and connected and excited to be alone together. … We go to sleep so excited to meet tomorrow.