The baby is sleeping. M is working. And I've got that darn Bjork song stuck in my head.
It's midnight on a Friday night, and I've got the place to myself for a few more hours.
I start every autumnal Friday with ambitious plans. Today, somewhere between dinner, finishing up some work deadlines and wrapping presents for a wedding we're attending tomorrow, I lost the plot and sank into some facebook ogling and solitaire domination for an hour or so (iPad...the most expensive solitaire machine ever, says M). It's the time of year when the a/c comes off and the windows open. School starts, as does the fall sports season. Which means M will be in the office from 5 pm until at least one or two in the morning each Friday. Unlucky for him. Not so bad for me.
Not only do I not have to worry about child care (thank you, daddy!) during the day, but I can fill my calendar with dinner dates for practically all of September and October. Last weekend little D and me popped in to our local to dine with M's parents and their friends. Tonight we hit up a pizza joint we haven't been to in ages with our pal A. The bartender nearly fell over when he saw me carrying D.
Whoa! I guess it has been a while. Look at that! You reproduced!
Oh Scottie. Always a way with words.
Well done! You and M make beautiful babies.
Why yes. Yes we do. And for a few moments I let my mind wander to our other babies. The ones Scottie never got to see.
Autumn is so lovely. It is so awful. I love it. But I really hate it. I love football season. The crunch and chill of the air, the shades of the sunsets. The game itself and all the sounds (whistles, crowds) and smells (funnel cakes, hot dogs, hot chocolates, fried everything) that come with it. But I know what an immense burden and stress this time of year puts on M, so that love is a little muted. For his sake.
Autumn is also the only time I ever got to spend with I and J. Autumn was our season together. This time five years ago, there were two little babies in my belly. Growing. Thriving. Back then, Friday nights were our special times together. I would eat whatever I wanted. Watch whatever I wanted. Fall asleep on the couch waiting for M. All the pleasures of being single made better by knowing I wasn't really alone, and a loving husband and soon to be dad was on his way home.
In those days, M also had to work a few Saturdays. I remember strolling through arts fests, apple fests, anything with fest in the name in it, I was there. Sometimes with friends or family. Sometimes solo. Always with this glow of knowing and anticipation. I feel like I floated through that autumn on a cloud.
I'm rereading some of those posts now. Gosh. What a different tone.
Those days, I would avoid blogs that talked about loss like the plague. Lalalalala my ears were plugged, my eyes averted. Months later, those same blogs became my lifeline. Holding me steady. Holding me in my grief. Abiding with me no matter what shape that grief took on on any given day.
Some of those bloggers were already a few months into their new lives, having lost their little ones the season before me. In autumn.
So every few days now, I hear a ding from my calendar. I look up expecting to see a meeting I'm supposed to be at or a deadline I will most likely miss, and instead I see a very simple note. Usually just two names. Reminding me what day - whose day - it is. And so I take a moment to quietly reflect. And to remember.
M just sent a text. He's on his way home. D just shrieked, as if on cue. The spell breaks. The meditation is over. I'm off to check on the baby and heat some pasta. See you next Friday, if not sooner.