I’m sitting in the creaky glide-rocker we bought on sale at Nebraska Furniture Mart when we were newlyweds and found out we were pregnant with Jones. Our duplex was still in boxes, and our first purchases for it were this rocker and a micro-suede loveseat that my kiddos jump on in the playroom next door. The space heater is pointed at my feet, my white robe is draped over my desk chair (lovingly named “the passion killer” by my husband), and another blanket sits rumpled under my heels. There is a basket of belongs-not-in-this-room-but-I-don’t-know-where-else-yet items by the bookshelf, and I’m pretty sure they won’t be finding their home for the next six months. My dust-covered desk houses infant gas drops, a lotion bottle, an empty tissue box, a Bible, one baby bootie, and pictures of my loves. A lonely pen lays on the ground, waiting either for my foot or my daughter’s fingers. Most likely, she will pick it up and use it to defame some of the pretty notecards I keep tucked away in my desk. Next to the pen is the crib — borrowed from friends, with bumpers that don’t match the pink sheets, neither of which match anything else in this room. It is full of blankets — clean blankets, used blankets, blankets that have been spit-up on. A noise machine and a basket of diapers and breast pads sit in the corner. I just noticed a deflated pink balloon on the floor (from where?!), next to a basket of (clean! folded!) laundry. That basket has been well-loved and well-used in this house, evident from the duct tape holding both handles together. Bryan’s suit jacket hangs on the door (when was that last used?), along with some of my pajamas. My Christmas present sits in a box on top of the armoir, untouched except for the five minutes I took it out last week. Is this a sufficient picture of my real life? My real bedroom?
I’m sitting in this corner, tapping away, while I wait for Ivy to settle into sleep on our bed. That bed that smells like me and my milk, with sheets that need a desperate wash but will remove all scent of comfort for that little thing trying to grunt her way into dreamland while I wait in the corner. I know — KNOW — that if I leave the room before she’s deep and peaceful, I will close the door ever-so-quietly, tiptoe down the hall and the stairs, and breathe a sigh of relief in the living room, it will all be quickly succeeded by a sharp cry from the monitor. BUT, if I sit here and listen to her grunts, she may sleep somewhere other than my arms, and I’m willing to wait for that. (So far, me sitting in the corner has also worked for that crazy 45-minute mark of naps that mothers know all-too-well.)
Right now, I feel like a success. I folded that laundry basket that stared judgingly at me from the corner, though it was the last thing I wanted to do. I listened to my little lady talk about the names of the ponies on “My Little Pony.” And I sat in this corner waiting for Ivy to sleep, an act of love to this dear little one. It’s good for me to remember that loving Ivy right now looks like feeding her, holding her, responding to her cries. Someday, she will require a listening ear and a hand to brush sand from her knees, but in this season, she needs these little things.
Like right now, as she’s crying and not grunting anymore, so I must go.
(I said it would be a real look at real life, didn’t I? Abrupt endings and such.)