There is hard stuff. The conversations that sneak in between the giggling in bed at night.
He rose up on his forearm and said “I’d have one more if you wanted.” He was watching her sleep, her teeny body taking up half of our king size bed.
My throat got itchy and my nose started tingling. I needed to not cry. I’ve thought this through not just with my heart and my hormones but with my head.
I don’t want to struggle. We are making it now. MQD and me and the girls. And I’m home. Where I know I belong. I don’t want to push Lucy to grow up faster. I want her to have what Emily had, her mom all to herself for years to come.
“I know.” And he kept watching her. “She’s just growing so fast.”
I took his hand in mine. “Another baby would grow up, too. And we can’t just keep having more.”
And he smiled. Looked at me. Took his eyes off of her for a moment. “Sure we could.”
This morning as he left for work I walked to the door and kissed him. Like I did when he would leave my apartment years ago. “Thank you for talking to me. Just because I don’t want more babies doesn’t mean I don’t cry several times a day over how fast this one is growing. There is absolutely nothing like loving a baby. I just want to be present for the one that we have.”
He kissed me back.
She is sleeping in my lap and I have my hand curled around the back of her head. Her bald little head. And I let the tears roll down my face. She has five long hairs right now. In just a couple of years she will get a hair cut and those sweet wispy baby hairs will be gone. Those hairs I soaked in tears, the hair she smeared with avocado.
I let myself cry for a few and then I stopped and took a breath. Emily always says “I wish Lucy could talk to us” or “I wish Lucy could walk” and I tell her “I don’t! I’m not wishing away our baby!! We won’t get it back!”
I think and talk a lot about how much it means to me to be present. To be here so I don’t miss it. But it’s not just wishing it away I need to be wary of. I can’t let myself get consumed with how fast they’re growing up. While I am weeping over the haircut my six month old will have in two years? I’m missing right now.
It’s so hard. To feel every second. In order to be fully present I like to hold on. But if I hold on too tight before I realize it I’m holding on to the past. And these damn kids, their present turns in to ancient history in seconds.