Wednesday, July 18, 2012
When I was pregnant with Abbott, I had abstract, daydreamy thoughts about parenthood that involved a cuddly, soft, sweet-smelling baby who behaved like a cross between a miniature roommate and a teddy bear. These dreams included images of Alexi and I smiling at each other, holding hands in a relaxed fashion, feeling even more like a family. We prepared for, and anticipated, Abbott's birth in many ways, but our lives, individually, and our collective life completely, permanently changed in ways we could never have foreseen. A decade into parenting, Alexi and I have learned many, many things about ourselves and each other, lost years of sleep, gotten pushed to our limits of patience over and over again, and have experienced more joy than we ever imagined possible.
Last weekend, both of our boys had a sleepover - Cal's first - and we were alone at home for the first time in ten years. We spend time alone together with some regularity on date nights, and we've had a few minivacations together, but alone at home was something new. We went out to dinner and then returned to an empty house that felt ridiculously big. I was keenly aware of the stillness as I walked up the flights of stairs to bed. I noticed Alexi in a new way; in an old, familiar, nearly forgotten way. It was easy to be a good listener. His face looked different to me as we sat and talked. I felt my muscles and my demeanor relax, and my breathing slowed.