Monday, September 6, 2010

The Summer Wind

I love this time of year, early September. It hangs delicately between the unfinished business of summer and the softer light and air on its way in. It makes me want to soak everything up, to linger a bit.

The past couple of months have been wild, and I feel like I've done no lingering at all. Where the summer used to be about moving from pastime to pastime between the anchors of Memorial and Labor Days, this one has been about moving from baby milestone to baby milestone. About figuring out the essentials like eating and sleeping, and keeping up with my boy, who is already two steps ahead of me -- all while keeping the rest of our lives afloat as well.

Let me bring you up to speed:

-Baby H is crawling. The real deal. This began almost the day he turned six months, followed quickly by his learning to pull himself up on all manner of surfaces -- coffee table, crib, upholstered chair, and especially anything unstable or pointy.

-We're trying to sell our house, and on the hunt for a new one. We currently live in a very nice, close-in suburb of Boston that I would like to remain in for decades to come. But I'd also like more of the trappings of suburban life, many of which were once anathema: a huge family room, with (horrors) carpeting -- somewhere to put H down and let him roam safely. A huge yard with a swing set. Room to grow. So we're looking in the real suburbs, where these things come more affordably. And let me tell you something about trying to sell a house when you have a baby: It sucks. Please, please, please let it sell soon.

-My freelance work has taken off in ways I never anticipated when I got up the nerve to walk in and quit my full-time job after one post-baby month back. I work pretty much every night and weekend, and sometimes long for a little downtime. But it is well worth it to continue to contribute to the household income while relishing every day at home with my boy.

-My husband left on July 25 for a business trip to Tokyo and Canberra, Australia. When he walked back in the house 12 days later, I knew instantly that something was seriously wrong. Gaunt, pale and weak, he looked like death warmed over; I learned that after dinner in Tokyo nearly a week prior, he went to the bathroom and essentially hadn't been able to stray far from a toilet since. I won't bore you with the full rundown, but the rest of the story involves a fever, four nights at Brigham and Women's Hospital, a CAT Scan, finally a diagnosis (campylobacter infection) and enough antibiotics to open a small pharmacy. I'm not sure I can put into words how stressful and surreal it is to have your husband on the infectious disease floor of a hospital (the docs suited up and everything) after a long business trip while you care for a fussy baby and keep your house clean for showings by your realtor. I'm grateful, in more ways than one, that he's back in fighting form.

-To prove further how much we seem to love doctors and hospitals, I learned last week that the foot that's been throbbing for two months since an ill-fated walk through the mall (in Jack Rogers sandals whose loose fit, I knew, would one day cause me pain) is actually broken. So I'll be hobbling around in a big, black boot-cast for two months. How do these things happen to me? Seriously, if you see me on the street, run the other way. I have redefined the notion of "shop until you drop."

-Other H updates: Solids seem to be going well -- he's enjoying them more and more, though still only the jarred variety (Earth's Best), as he seems to have an aversion to chunkier foods and I can't smooth anything out to his liking with the Cuisinart (which is fine with me). He's more social now, loves other babies and smiles and laughs nonstop. He still loves his Baby Bjorn -- I spent the whole summer carting him around open houses, supermarkets and other destinations strapped to my middle, a tiny madman grabbing at packages and laughing spontaneously out loud. He instantly became the mayor of anywhere we went, loving the attention. We're still working on sleep -- that's a long story worthy of a separate post. We did manage to get away for a few days in Maine, an exhausting but fun trip that included H's first time at the beach.

All told, it's been a good summer, though I can't help but feel that it slipped away too quickly. It's amazing to me that this baby who took so long to arrive is now growing and changing so much, so fast. It's hard not to remember that this time last year, I was expanding by the minute and registering for baby gear, most of which I had only the most abstract idea how to use. Now, as I watch H become more and more independent, I want to somehow bottle it all up so I can relive it someday when I need the warmth of these moments. I am trying to focus on the fact that he's still only seven months old, still just a small baby. That someday this time that I'm in, right now, will be the longed-for memory.

I didn't know it would be this fun, that I would be this happy. Didn't know that a voice inside would whisper: This is the time of your life.


Amanda said...

Wow, that's a lot. I'm so sorry for your husband. That sounds awful!

I'm impressed that Baby H has been crawling for so long. M has not gotten the mechanics of it down at all yet, but it's fun watching him try.

Ashley said...

I've missed you;) So glad H is doing well!! We need a pic!! Hope ya'll have a wonderful week;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Egg!

Nice to hear from you. Glad to hear that H is doing well, although so sorry to read about your poor husband. I was all excited to see that he was going to Canberra as I have spent a lot of time there, but I guess he wouldn't have enjoyed his trip all that much.

Good luck selling the house- it is such a stressful thing to do. I can't imagine doing it with a bub as well!


Heather said...

I know how you feel about being busy. So glad your DH is OK. Good luck with selling the house. I remember doing that when my DH was in China. Ugh!

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