Tuesday, May 26, 2015

After Mother's Day

32 Weeks

Greg pulled a tick out of my back at 1am. Ren woke up screaming moments before so Greg put him back down while I discovered the source of my discomfort. Tiny, creepy thing that caused a fire-pinch-burning all the way down to my toes. We saved it.

A few days later, Greg gave me another beautiful card with amazingly inspiring words written inside for our five year wedding anniversary. Earlier in the day, I took a lunch break, Googled and discovered 'wood' to be the theme of a five year celebration. Wracking my brain out loud, a colleague overheard and suggested I hit a sidewalk sale in town. Within an hour, I side walked into some very loud and very beautiful outdoor chimes. They have wood in them. Perfect.

In the afternoon, after work, I picked up a romantic pizza and drove home. As I turned our street corner, I simultaneously spotted Greg and Ren playing in the yard and tried to keep from vomiting. The two were not related.

That evening, it was quiet.

In front of a baseball game on the television, I dozed and thought about why I was so sick. My eyes popped open. I looked at the clock and made Greg go to CVS to pick up a pregnancy test. It was 10pm. Happy Anniversary, honey. At midnight, we threw the negative results into the trash, regained all color back into our skin, and remembered the tick incident the weekend prior. I Googled and decided I needed to rush to the ER to thwart my new-found, flesh-eating, deadly, deathly, I-am-most-certainly-dying-unless-I-get-help-immediately virus.

I'm still awaiting test results and I'm still here. Life is good.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother's Day

31 Weeks

Greg suggested a local diner for breakfast and Ren sat in his first sticky restaurant high-chair. He did a neck roll each time a waiter carried a heavy tray over his head. He loved it.

Greg gave me a beautiful card with amazingly inspiring words written inside and we picked out a simple ring that will be made with Ren's birthstone. I'll wear it with pride on top of my wedding bands.

In the afternoon, I pulled weeds while Ren stared up at tree limbs through his toys. I planted some bulbs from a plant a sweet colleague gave me for my birthday. Greg cleaned up the yard.

It was quiet.

I thought about my mother and my son and the metaphors I buried into the soil around our home.

It was beautiful and perfect. Life is good.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Filling in the Not-So-Blanks

30 Weeks

We have an empty corner of the living room that's undecorated. There's no mistaking it for modern minimalism. Above a chair and a table is nothing but discolored patches and scratches while the rest of the room is painstakingly, perfectly arranged (even though Ren is starting to crawl—soon everything will be covered in manufactured clouds and bubble wrap). This sad, blank area also has large holes where we thought a floating shelf would look nice and substantial. It didn't. It looked like we nailed a coffee table next to the window to confuse everyone. Plus it hurt when you sat down and rammed your head into its side. Our anagram-abode is taking way too long to decorate. We run on no sleep and new-baby delirium. I'm amazed we have curtains that aren't old sheets taped to the glass. It's frustrating that upon entering our first family home your eye is drawn immediately to this lifeless corner. It's a key spot. It's where you'd hold court if our living room were on Game of Thrones.

Me being me, this under-appreciated wall has come to represent something incomplete in our lives. A missing piece that has no real meaning but a sense of... potential? It bothers me on a core level and therefore I bother Greg about it. The entire kitchen is a mid-century "natural-catastrophe-water-damage" inspiration with long patches of torn wallpaper, like a giant, old price tag you can't remove in once piece. This doesn't bother me, but the blank wall over the King's seat does.

Lately, Ren's growth is truly shocking Greg and I. Ren hasn't done anything out of character, rather he is becoming more of his character. Over night. This growth spurt kind of hit us on a new level: we aren't caretakers of a small, helpless creature that we are training to hold a fork. We are responsible for nurturing a thinking person—a fork holder who will go out into the world and make choices about what he wants to eat. Within a few days, Ren has gone from being an observer to an active participant. He joked with his father at the dinner table, creeped across the floor after a favorite toy, and handed me a book to read aloud. He's seven months old. SEVEN. MONTHS. What happens in seven years? Is he going to learn to vote?

I'd like to think Greg and I have something to do with how cool Ren is but at this point I honestly think we are just following the same instincts that keep us sane. Our inner voices told us to find some nurturing nature and gentle living—turns out, babies like that too. Within two years Greg and I have gone from a commercial loft next to the subway and an indoor garbage dump to a country cottage where daddy hand mows the lawn while mommy and Ren hang laundry in the afternoon sun.

I'm still shocked at our complete shift in life's direction and I'm ridiculously grateful for the "little things". They don't seem so small when you add up the sign posts that lead us to this place. It's an abstract appreciation that we can't explain and comes from a purely original beginning that goes back generations—the start of the universe actually. If we could trace our happiness we'd view its inception in the atoms of the stars. All of what it takes to complete one soul's puzzle. Where does it start? Where does it end? This is why they tell us to enjoy the journey. You'll never know the answer and you'll never know the first page or the last...  I'm starting to understand why I can't finish decorating the living room...