|Overshot the Peekaboo.|
…and My Kid Is Terrific (Parts 1 and 77, respectively.) *Thanks, Dorrie.
Yesterday, we were going to have a guy come and fix our crawlspaces. They are seriously hurting. Four attic-like rooms off of the upstairs bedrooms- two the size of [really awful] bedrooms themselves- and all with upside down insulation…if at all. (There are, however, crazy amounts of notebooks, beer bottle caps and at least one high school prom mug. Good Counsel, Class of ’83, if anyone’s missing it.)
So I was excited to get them fixed for storage and general not-freeziness. But I was also wary. Here’s why. This is how a contractor deal works at our house:
1. P.J. and I choose 3 companies.
2. I meet them all, listen to their spiels and Little Lady pitches, all roughly three hours apiece.
3. I suggest the company I like best.
4. Peej goes with the company of which he’s just Googled something crucial.
5. On the Big Day, I ready the area, lock the cats in the laundry room and adjust Nora’s naps accordingly…and wait. And wait. And sometimes wait.
Yesterday was no different- except- the insulation truck needed THREE SPOTS in front of my house. First thing in the a.m. Okie doke. Because, you know, I live on an extremely busy one-way street off of an extremely busy two-way street with rather expensive metered parking boxes (thanks, Daley), making our busy street the only free, non-zoned parking for blocks.
But sure, three spots.
However, I peeked out the window at 6:45am and saw the spot right in front of our gate had vacated. I ran outside in jammies, a hoodie and Crocs to place a questionably light folding chair in the space. Which is totally your best bet for staking a spot. Nothing says Back Off like a folding chair.
And somehow another spot opened up. And another. AND A FOURTH. I was so stoked and took it as a sign.
Oh, it was a sign, all right. It was a surefire way to guarantee that after I’d gotten the spots secured (as well as the wrath of my neighbors) and after I’d sealed off Nora’s door against dust and shards, and after I’d settled the kiddo into a confused sleep in the downstairs pack n’ play…that I’d get a call at 10am canceling the appointment. You see, the head supervisor’s wife had had a baby the night before. I mean, mazel tov and all that, but THAT shut down operations for the day? And we’re not talking about a Mom and Pop operation, here.
They said they were sorry. I said it was okay. (Grr, I always say that. And I so rarely mean it.)
But then I got to spend the rest of the day with Nora in a half-clean/half-rearranged household. And there’s nothing like spending the day with Nora and her Doc Bullfrog and Jeopardy and the park.
I love my kid. I really do. As I was singing her to half-sleep and she was doing a patpatpat on my cheek in acknowledgement, it hit me (not her hand) that I’m blown away by this little child almost every day.
I looked down at her sleepy 11 month-old face and was kind of amazed by the fact that she was, indeed, this old. And still this young. And so, so busy all of the time. And such an independent little thing but still so happy to be held and rocked and kissed.
And she’s ours. And she looks like both of us and no one else at all but herself and she never even used to exist. That blows me out of the water. I think it always will.
Parents always say that Having A Baby Changes You and You’ll Never Be The Same and You Cannot Imagine The Capacity For Love and blahblahblah. And you nod and smile and roll your eyes, thinking- yeah, I know how to love. I’m gonna dig my kid. Yep.
But it’s seriously unlike any other feeling I’ve ever felt. Even towards my husband. And I like him. A LOT. But here’s the kicker: This feeling towards Nora? This wildly out of control love and constant gleeful surprise? I still couldn’t explain and do it justice to an expectant parent.
I think it’s kind of like how humans can’t hold the full memory of pain in any sort of constant way- nor would one want to. You’d never get anything done, remembering exactly what it felt like when your arm shattered after a fall from a bike or that last migraine that left you incapacitated for days. But you know it hurt. And you tell friends how much it hurt. But even you’ve forgotten- just a little- how overwhelming that pain is.
And that’s what it’s like with Nora.
Except non-painful. (Unless I’m in a mood and full o’ tears.) Because I think I have moments like I just did as I got her ready for bed because I can’t keep that kind of awareness going 24/7. And so it’s shocking and wonderful and silly when I do.
It’s funny- I did not intend to write about this today. Really. I had planned on whining about insulation and home repair. Maybe gripe about laundry a bit. Share an anecdote about how people will still not talk to me at the park.
But as I started typing, here I was- again- extolling the virtues of being a parent. And I imagine- to my friends who have no desire to have babies- it’s worthy of a little eye roll of their own. But here’s another kicker: I think the majority of this amazement and love comes from the fact that I had SO little to do with how wildly cool this girl is. She just showed up, guns of awesome a blazin’, and decided to change our lives.
And for that I have nothing but love in my heart.
And little but sweet potato on my shirt.