Reading: Paris Trout by Pete Dexter
Listening to: My husband coo at our wee baby son
Outside: The sky's unsure - rain or snow? It wants to do something.
Last time I wrote a post, I was still pregnant, heavy as a tank rolling through mud, and waddling my way past a jogger who, I have to admit, made me just the teeniest bit jealous. She was slim and seemed to run so easily, moved so painlessly. I know, I know, jealousy is a horrible way to feel, and yet there it was, just the same. I was still weeks away from my baby boy's impending arrival, and I was trying my best to just enjoy the pregnancy, which is very hard to do so close to that illusive Due Date. Any woman who has been pregnant will tell you, and if she says she enjoyed her entire pregnancy, she's lying through her damn teeth.
|Lena and Baby Indiana, October 2020|
I am completely on the other side of that now. I went into labour in the early hours of October 1st, 2020, and gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 6:20 am, very quickly and without complications. I was lucky. He was lucky. Giving birth - and yes, pregnancy and labour - during a pandemic presents its own set of challenges, and I was there to meet them, alone, mask, and all. I submitted to the pain as you must, and then, there he was: seven pounds and three ounces of pure miraculousness.
|New Year's Day, 2021|
I can't believe what life has thrown at us in the space of time between my last run and this one - a broken treadmill, a baby, an extra 20-odd pounds. A pandemic, home-schooling, masks and antibacterial gel and a healthy paranoia when touching door handles, mail and parcels fresh from the Amazon delivery van. Everything, it seems, is teeming with germs, with threat. I'm sure none of us imagined we'd be washing our hands every time we opened a letter or slid the blade of a pair of scissors down the tape over a box. I'm sure we never thought our children would be home for weeks or months at a time, asking us what the word "commemorate" means, because we have now become teachers for some hours each day, doing our best to make sure lunch doesn't boil over, stirring the soup with one hand, feeding a baby with the other, and lobbing letters through the open kitchen door, "c - o - m - m - e - m - o - r -a - t - e...." into a dining room turned classroom, at a child who may or may not want to entirely listen.
|A girl indulging in greats - December 17, 2020|
I never expected my child would ever say that she misses school, the lunches, the lessons. Life has thrown at us the unimaginable, life handled clumsily through ill-fitting latex gloves.
But, through the caffeine-fueled haze that is motherhood-teacherhood-pandemic-survival, there have been other wonderful things. The feeling of a clean diaper on your baby's bottom, the way he snuggles his head into the crook of your elbow as he falls asleep. Your girl pouncing through unexpected snow, making cairns out of ice.
|January 2, 2021 - Snow!|