for the ride

It’s startling to me, how little I’ve been writing here. I have always lived in my head, and this blog has been evidence of that: the work I do to understand my little world. How necessary I find that work to be, and natural. But there’s something about the daily lived reality of Home With Two Kids that leaves only space for doing and not for grasping. Awe but not inspiration.

Today, at the end of our library story-time, I broke a bottle. I was wearing Louis, and quickly gathering both diaper bag and borrowed potty (to have one on each floor), and watching which way Bram was going (running) so I could follow (pray to keep up), and one of our glass bottles with three ounces of J’s pumped milk fell out of the bag and shattered. Precious milk everywhere. Glass everywhere. Children having to be carried out of the story-time room while custodians came with mops and big brooms. And I cried. I just felt so sad.

Later, B was napping, and Louis was asleep on my back, and I was making cornbread. And the afternoon light was nice, and I noticed the feeling of my feet on the cool floor, and the weight of the baby, and the smell of the batter, and I couldn’t stop smiling.

And this morning, on Bram’s fifth day with no diapers, we had a whole string of accidents. Poop accidents. And Louis was crying and hungry. And we needed to leave for story time. And I hadn’t even brushed my hair.

And then we sang, B and I, on the two block walk into the library. And it was cool out, but not cold. And the sun was high. Bram sings with abandon, which is contagious, of course.

And my mom came yesterday. And when B woke up from nap he asked worriedly: Is Bubbie still here? And when I said yes, he lit up. And our friends have a gorgeous new baby. And we had lunch with someone wonderful today. And other friends had us over for dinner tonight and their daughter is the sweetest and neither she nor B wore underpants all night long. And B wanted our friend Emily to do something the other day, and I asked him to ask her instead of just telling her, and he walked over and said, “are you willing to do this?” Just like that.

And he is really doing this potty thing, and I’m not sure I even knew it was possible to feel this much pride.

And Louis is the kindest baby. He’s really just kind. Patient and willing and laid back and happy. He smiles with his whole body when I really look at him: he is in love with me. He is mad for eye contact. He is still so small, but back on the growth chart: 2% for weight. He is a small, kind, affectionate bird. He is quiet and watchful and engaged but not needy. He is still a stranger because he is still new, but oh I love him. He had the deepest lines in his feet. These two perfect lines, one in each foot, deep as canyons.

And almost everything hurts because I am not built for such a physical life, but this is the life I choose, and it knocks me down. My body and my heart. It leaves my head out of it. There’s no time for thinking. Just thinking. There’s no money, and no time, and no stillness, but so much love it knocks the wind out of me.

I miss my wife. That’s one thing. At almost twelve weeks I want more of her. But also: our tiny newborn is almost not a newborn anymore. And I made cornbread today and felt joy. And if I had a little time I might understand all of this. Sometimes I watch Louis and am struck by his willingness to be just along for the ride. But I think maybe if I could step back I’d see that’s exactly what I am too. Just riding this and trying to let as much of it in as I can bear.

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5 thoughts on “for the ride

  1. I only just saw this now, feeding the actually demanding baby his breakfast, and I burst into tears because YES and because I swelled up with love for you. I feel this so intensely, all the time; sometimes with terror that my life is a vehicle with the gas pedal stuck down and I am not the one steering, sometimes with wonder that I trust these humans who ARE the ones steering so completely that I’m actually enjoying this experience, and sometimes with resentment – because, frankly, I think most people observing from the outside actually think you and I, friend, are completely in control, control freaks even, and we’re super misunderstood in this way because there is.NO.control. Love you all.

  2. That was so beautiful that it brought me to tears. I, too, am at a loss for time and that means a sacrifice of reflection. And that is hard for me. I feel a little disconnected from myself and my own life and I so appreciated being able/needed to read your words. Thank you for writing them and living life the way you do.

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