When you have a baby everyone you love wants to meet him, which makes you feel popular and proud, and then one day company comes to town, and you try to coordinate going to dinner. Your friends laugh at you when you ask them to eat at 5:30 p.m. because they are not 100 years old or parents, and you love your kid, but your heart still sinks a little at the idea that this is what life is going to be like for the foreseeable future. But your out-of-town guests are super great people who understand what they signed up for with this visit, so they accommodate your early bird needs. You pack up some wipes, several diapers, a change of clothes, baby-wearing device of choice, and all of the hand sanitizer (lest strangers put their germs on your babe), and you tuck your little puppy into his car seat. You layer on blankets and hats, pile everyone into the car, and head to the sushi joint. You order a large Asahi because you’re feeling brave.
And the little dude does great! He sits in his seat and alternatively coos and snoozes, and you sit in your seat, warm with alcohol and love, and alternatively stare at and talk about the baby. And, again, your friends are cool, so they don’t seem to mind all the baby chat one bit, though they do introduce their own topics on occasion. The Asahis flow and sushi and good laughs are shared, and you feel like you have this parenting business down! You look at your little handsome and secretly ache for more tiny babies.
Then suddenly, and quite out loud, bubba tells you that dinner is over. You grab the check and head to the car, but it’s not good enough and now the puppy is screaming. Your heart breaks for baby, and you are somehow embarrassed because you feel like you’re not a good boy mom right now. You curse the red lights and speak soothingly to your love, as you pray for the car ride to end. There’s tension in the air because nobody likes a crying baby, and you can tell your friends feel awkward as they swear that they’re fine. You hate that this is how life is going to be for the foreseeable future, and having these visitors is the last thing you need.
You get home. You throw an air kiss at your friends and run upstairs with your sweet boy, and you begin your nighttime routine. You’re hot and thirsty, and you chide yourself for having that beer as you bounce and sway and sing. You pass the baby off to Husband and cry and strap yourself to your breast pump, trying to decide if you still feel the effects of the alcohol. You cry more and you pump and you watch Husband masterfully soothe that sweet babe to sleep in no time at all, which makes you cry again, but with relief, and you thank the heavens for their strong daddy-baby bond.
You sit in the quiet dark as your pump chugs. You wonder how anyone ever has a second baby. You feel bad that you’re not a better boy mom. Husband comes over and wipes your tears and massages your shoulders, and you breathe and try to calm down. You send a text to your friends thanking them for their understanding. You look over and see your tiny baby sleeping soundly, silhouetted in moonlight from the window, and you marvel at this little being that inspires such love, and you remember that time is not slowing down ever. Then the baby toots in his sleep, and you and Husband laugh out loud and try in vain to shush each other. Inexplicably, here in this hard and sweet moment, while your breasts are drained of their milk and your mascara tears dry on your cheeks, your battered heart soars at the idea that this is how life is going to be for the foreseeable future, and you smile because you are happy.