Sitting on the side porch this morning side by side with Mr. Pom, coffee in hand, and noticing that the cicadas have begun their mid summer whirring. I want to scold them that it is not midsummer, what with Fourth of July being only one week ago, but they go by nature's schedule, humming away the passage of the sun across the sky. It is quiet and I am racing to finish reading a book that traveled back and forth to the Cape but remained unopened.***
We returned on Friday, caravaning down I95, meeting up at Mystic for a long break while the baby got out of his car seat, ate some lunch, threw most of it on the ground for thedog, and entertained all the patrons on the Starbucks patio with his loud commentary of giggles and gibberish on everything from the dog gobbling up leftovers to his mother's stern admonishments not to feed her.
I will miss waking up to his yells from the crib to rescue him and his shy tucking in of the head when his mother carries him out of the room, sleepy-eyed, to say hello. Our days were long and uneventful, and full. There was the flurry of meals, where we all we seemed to was nursery food: pasta with butter and cheese, grilled cheese toast, raspberries by the handful, blueberry pancakes, avocado chunks and hamburgers with ketchup. We managed one restaurant meal out, picked for its high noise level, which was propitious since the baby was in rare form, squealing, giggling, and chattering, delightedly finger painting with ketchup on the paper covering the tablecloth (thank goodness). After one particularly loud baby belly laugh, the couple at the next table leaned over and said, "We'll have what he's having."
Except for weekend visits by my son in law, the procession of visitors were all female, a phalanx of aunts and cousins who blew bubbles, held chubby fingers yearning to walk all over the beach, help carry the indispensable baby beach equipment of umbrellas, shade tents, thermoses of water, and tote bags full of lotions, changes of clothing, and sacks of cherries. Our heads hit the pillows hard at night by ten at the latest and there were no late night runs to the beach to see the stars (though several dawns were witnessed). My resolve to keep to my usual Cape routine of disappearing from 7 to 9 to sit with coffee and write or paint dissolved quickly into rinsing blueberries and slicing strawberries, buttering toast triangles, and sitting in the backyard while the baby examined every single piece of gravel on the entire terrace.
The two weeks flew by and went slowly, were exhausting and relaxing, were close to home and far afield, at least from a baby's point of view, and were different but the same. We saw the beach from ground level up, examining sticks, shells, pebbles, and crab legs that were destined for someone's mouth. We made friends everywhere and watched the baby watch his first parade, where he was particularly mesmerized by the ambulance's flashing lights. We all stood up to go the Fourth of July fireworks until my daughter wryly noted that someone had to stay home with the sleeping child. By the end of the two weeks, he was saying my younger daughter's name, the dog's name, mum mum and "diddy", and maayyybbbee saying "g'ma" (at least I heard it!).
If we had stayed even a day longer, I don't think I could have forced myself to return. The quiet slide of sunny days fragrant with sunscreen and baby smell were narcoleptic. My mind was reverting to the long, slow, local days of early motherhood. The endless hours of sitting on the floor with plastic bits and board books; the walks around the yard to discover wooly caterpillars and ant hills; and the constant stream of cheerios and sippy cups and diaper changes. All my pants have greasy tiny handprints that no stain stick will remove. I automatically cut up people's food into tiny bits from force of habit. I sweep the floor with my eyes as I walk from room to room, on alert for large cookie crumbs or clumps of dog hair that might find their wayward way into a little mouth.
I just took a look at my IG feed. In the last few weeks, I haven't there isn't a pic that doesn't feature the baby. My hand hovers over the "send" button as I wonder if I dare to post just one more photo of something I consider adorable but know that many do not. So yes, it's turned into a grandma feed, as I've been cautioned. If I had a second, I'd discover I've lost followers and even friends, but that's life.
At least that is my life right now. It is is amazingly and exhaustively full with work and family, and on most days I honestly cannot fit a hairpin into an empty second. There is a large teepee in my small living room, baby books falling out of a basket, and a high chair taking up the space by the window that the dogs covet. There are floors to vacuum for crawling, groceries to buy, meals to cook, and work, work, work to prepare for. Make room, make room I tell myself. Let it all in. Revel in the excess. I hear my Italian grandmothers whisper in my ear, "The thin edge of the wedge is almost nigh. There's plenty of time in the grave."
A proper post on summer reading will be coming. I have read some great books in fits and starts!