Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Small glimmers of freedom

When you go to get your photo taken for ye olde guvernment health card, drivers license, whatever, you think they'd at least let you see how bad the photo is before submitting it electronically to the happy people who make cards. But no. It's a surprise! You just have to wait a few weeks, then your ugly mug is mailed right to you.

Today I remembered to conceal a large zit before my appointment chez OHIP, but I had to forgo all other makeup or any opportunity to brush my hair because I have this baby, you see, who likes to fuss as soon as I begin to hatch grand plans. Like going to the bathroom. Or making myself a coffee. Or trying so smear on enough makeup so as not to look like death on my health card.

Back when I was engaged, I wondered if I should register for a coffee maker with or without a timer. The answer, three years later, would seem to be "with". That's what I did, and the poor coffeemaker has lived in a cupboard since then, because whan you're making just one cup, manual drip is easier than measuring out water and keeping a machine clean. Unless you have a baby. Time to break out the machine.

I've yielded to the evil stroller, by the way. Oh sure, I love to wear the baby, and he enjoys being worn or carried for a bit of time here or there, but not too long or when it's hot. He definitely prefers facing out. We used the stroller twice in July and he hated it. No wonder, really - the position for newborns is flat on one's back. So he couldn't see me, and couldn't see out, and didn't know what the hell was happening. Now he can hold his head up well enough that we can chck him in there and he's content. So I've been for two glorious evening walks this week with a very happy baby in a stroller, and felt no guilt for not attaching him to my body. Just freedom, walking at my pace. I've enjoyed mild weather, heard crickets and laughter, seen other folks out for a walk, and felt free. There are many kind of freedom, but my favourite kind right now is being able to walk in the August twilight with my baby and feel safe.

I don't regret the passed summer, the One That My Baby Ate. I can't. This time is short, precious, and different. I must embrace it. I'll have summers again, with my mobile, happy child, and I needn't wonder why I was so anxious this time, why I couldn't shrug and let it go. I'll take these little glimmers of freedom when I get them, and just live them, not compare them to the rest of my current life.


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