Two Saturdays ago was a very out-and-about kind of day.
We had lunch in Carytown, shopped for some rugs, and then headed over to the North Bank Trail to do a little hiking. It was a gorgeous day and Morella enjoyed the ride in her new baby backpack.
At one point the trail devolved into some boards laid across water and rocks, and not wanting to risk falling while carrying the baby, we turned around. After our hike we headed to the mall and while we were pushing Morella around in her stroller, I said something to her, then noticed that she didn’t look up, and bent down to look at her. The next few minutes were probably the most terrifying of my life. Glassy-eyed stare, left hand twitching, boiling hot forehead, limp like a rag doll. Ambulance ride, oxygen mask, sleep, applesauce, smiling, playing. It was a stressful night but we were just so relieved that she was okay, we could not complain. Over the next few days I revisited those moments of terror often in my memory. Waiting for the paramedics, we put a damp cloth on her head and stared at her in fear. I oscillated back and forth between “Okay, need to just stay calm and do whatever can help her” and utterly falling apart. Allowing myself to follow the natural chain of thought to consider what might happen was impossible. I just…couldn’t.
* * *
This Saturday, Dan was out of town camping with some friends. Morella and I got up, ate some eggs, and headed to a multi-family yard sale, where I bought her a little table-type thing that she can stand up and hold onto, and that plays music when she twists various things on it. She’s nuts about it. A friend met up with us there and hung out with us at the house for a little bit, hopefully not scared about her impending baby by Morella’s nap time whininess. During her nap, I got the house, food, and drinks ready to host a bunch of our neighbors for a “guac-off” (not my idea, but an awesome one nevertheless).
Our neighbor Jessica came over with her little girl, and when Morella got up, the girls played together and ate about 20 strawberries between the two of them. Then more neighbors started arriving, and introductions were made, and stories and smile shared, and most importantly, much guacamole eaten. After the last guests had left, it was afternoon nap time. I cleaned up the party mess and was just about to relax a bit when Morella woke up. We had some dinner, and then walked to the park to swing on the swings. She laughed and pointed at other kids on the playground. After a bath, it was time for bed but she wasn’t tired. But I was. I lay down on the floor and she did too, and we chatted / babbled and pointed up at the ceiling fan, and she rolled around and laughed and played until she was finally sleepy.
Two totally different days, two glimpses into my life right now. Luckily most days are more like the latter than the former. And I float through a lot of this time, a passenger through work, sleep, rushed nap time to-dos and the beautiful, satisfying sound of Morella’s laughter. It’s an oversimplification, of course — there have been lots of other things going on, like an amazing family segway tour, finding some delicious Korean food in Richmond, and some hilarious (and useful) public speaking training at work. But this Saturday time happened to kind of slow down and I was very aware of all this beauty for a minute, and wanted to commemorate it somehow.