Things I want to remember about this time period:
Spending a rainy Sunday afternoon twirling around the kitchen with Cora in my arms, singing along loudly and badly to Viva Hate.
Morella’s constant neediness: her inability to play alone for more than two minutes, hanging on my arm while I’m trying to eat dinner, whining if someone wants to go to the bathroom alone, begging for a playdate and saying she “never” gets to see her friends when one of them was at our house all day and had just left.
Me and Matt, two introverts, trying to figure out how to conscientiously raise an extrovert.
Morella’s constant creativity: using her two pointer fingers as dolls when she doesn’t have any handy, hopping around the house with her secret agent supplies from her latest Kiwi Crate, throwing a solemn funeral for a dead cicada on the back deck with sidewalk chalk decorations, collaborating on exquisite corpse drawings with Matt, turning her paintbrush on herself and painting her hand in a blue and purple “galaxy” design.
Texts from Brandi first thing in the morning.
Texts from Gemma and Lianna last thing at night.
Cora’s perfect squishiness at this particular moment in time.
Matt staring from his seat on the deck out into the garden, yawning and looking a little groggy from staying out too late (10:45pm?) the night before. Some flecks of gray starting to show in his light brown hair.
Cora biting everything in sight with her two razor-sharp bottom teeth.
Bedtimes with Bub (our sometime nickname for Morella) after Cora’s asleep, reading books, finding Waldo, catching up on Steven Universe (“I choosen, you, Gah-reg,” she says).
On a date with Matt, walking to a second location to find oysters for dessert, because we love oysters and we felt like it.
Adjusting my expectations for baby milestones, as Cora rolled over early, sat up early, started pulling up to stand early, and is bent and determined to be walking early.
Trying to figure out what color Cora’s eyes are, and settling on gray for now.
A sweaty, swampy National Night Out with kids and pizza and a sprinkler and a line of ants and neighbors laughing. The one who’s lived on the block the longest was talking about its changes over time and said “Tess has really brought the block together” and I felt a mixture of pride and gratefulness and shame at not making time to get the neighbors together often enough.
Morella’s answer when someone asks if she’s excited about kindergarten: “Yeah. And a little bit nervous.”
A perfect 70-degree day in August with the girls on the back deck, dappled sunlight, Cora giggling in her walker and Morella drawing and painting nearby.
Matt’s high-pitched cackling whenever something funny in A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix catches him off-guard.
Raspberry-blowing wars with Cora.
My new favorite sight in the world: the whole family out on the front porch waiting for me to get home, Matt pushing Cora in the swing and Morella hopping up excitedly from the steps.
Things I will try not to remember:
Painful, clogged highway commute into the soulless suburbs for work every day.
Ira’s bout with fleas. And he’s a 100% indoor cat!
The wheels of bureaucracy turning more slowly and disjointedly than usual, making a weeklong project into a monthlong one.
Neighbors who sneak our garbage cans full with a zillion bags overnight so that, two days after garbage pickup, we have nowhere else to put garbage for the week.
Contractors who ghost.
The book I was reading on vacation, sitting dusty on the nightstand, still on the same page I left it on in June.