This is the first time I’ve been completely alone in three months. The experience of leaving the house without a baby in tow is akin to a hungover morning in your early twenties, accidentally stepping out the door without shoes while rushing to work. Except instead of heading back inside to don ballet flats, you just keep stepping forward, feet slapping the wet pavement. “Do you see my bare feet? Should I explain why I look like this?” you ask yourself, looking down. But of course to any other self-consumed stranger I’m just existing. Perpetually tired with a bold lip.
I want to tell you about the specific moment when the Rock & Play Sleeper drops the beat before transitioning into an elegant rendition of On Top of Spaghetti. I want to tell you about the morning a barista asked me if I had any fun plans for the weekend. Our hands touched for a single second too long before I replied, “I’m just happy to be here.” Last week Jacob sprayed laundry detergent on the clean clothes in the dryer.
It has been much better than this.
After every baby-related hurdle I take a step back in awe and think “well, I guess we’re really all in on this parenting thing!” Recently I referred to something as happening “since we got the baby” as opposed to “since the baby was born” and it often seems that way. As if we threw her into the weekly grocery order three months ago and arrived home after work to find her on our doorstep. Of course I’m oversimplifying, but I’m also attempting to describe the impossible.
I wore a hospital gown. I slept on top of a tablecloth. My daughter is better than everything.