The house is quiet. The washing machine whirs, the soap nuts safely tucked in their pouch as they clean Sophie’s clothes. She hiccups in her little chair, having been fed and changed. She yawns, a bit of milk residue clinging to her tongue. Neruda chews on a buffalo tendon. The heat sizzles outside. I press my palm against the window and feel its buttery warmth on the other side.
It will be another day spent indoors with my little one, as the temperature soars. Alex works diligently on his computer at our dining room table (thankfully working from home today so he can help out). Slowly, I feel like I am getting some sort of routine in order – albeit, just during the first part of the day. Alex now wakes at 5:00a.m and heads to the gym in the silent Chicago hours. He returns just as I am nursing Sophie, and then I head off in pursuit of my own sweat session at 6:30a.m., so happy for those few minutes alone in the car, listening to music and the quiet thoughts of the city before it jumps alive at 9:00a.m.
At the gym, I revisit certain exercises that have been dormant for the last 44 weeks. I feel the weights in my hands, feel my body dying to jump and twist and turn, but I am patient. I do just enough but not too much. I move and bend and stretch and feel this new body – this new body without my baby inside it, this body that is removed from what it was, but isn’t too far away from something great.
I will get there.
At home, I make my VEGA ONE shake, packed with power greens, almond milk, blackstrap molasses (to combat any blood loss), oats, and the protein powder. I pour a cup of decaf french roast and check my emails for the day. An hour later, I make a batch of pancakes, this time a new recipe from Heather Crosby’s YumUniverse. I wolf down four and long for more. They are delicious.
Lately, life comes to me in strange bits and pieces. While everyone is meeting their deadlines and rushing off to meetings, I am sitting on the couch, a boppy around my waist. I am providing food, changing diapers, giving kisses and baths and memorizing every square inch of my daughter. I am reading books (both for myself and to her) and writing when I can and eating and talking on the phone and drumming up ways to contribute more financially. I am pondering and gesticulating and over thinking. I am oversimplifying my life and yet making it more complex just by doing “nothing” at all.
I am in some sort of time warp where real life suspends above me, dangling just out of reach like an onion on a string. And yet, this feels real. It feels dense, almost as if I can hold my responsibilities in my hands.
Lunch time chimes. Somehow, we are out of food again. I am craving the vegan quesadillas Alex whipped up the other night – I could eat them daily.
For now, I will kiss my little girl and go hug my husband. I will take pleasure in the simple things, because they will not always be this simple. I will live for that first giggle and a string of unending smiles; I will enjoy the personalized homemade mug, full of coffee, my friend gave me and the promise of writing a good story and my husband’s voice. I will enjoy the cool breeze only reserved for early morning and the daydream of a much needed vacation with my family. I will savor the way the light hits the window and makes everything more tender than it is.
I won’t forget to be excited by the small joys in life.
Because it will make the bigger ones all that much easier to identify.