Sunday, July 13, 2008

alone with frances

We went to the zoo and the attraction F liked most was the water fountain.

C is now the age F was when, during my drive to work, I would fantasize about not stopping the car, driving on through the mountains and into Tennessee, staying at some motel where I would sleep all night long. I would wonder how long it would take my family to find me, but until then I would be free. I would see a movie, eat in a restaurant, soak in the bathtub. I don't have those fantasies this time, but I understand where they came from.

Today I had the sitter stay with C while I took F with me to the farmer's market. I strapped her on my back and we stood in the rain together, sharing an umbrella, and listened to a couple play bluegrass under a large white tent. She sleepily leaned into me and I could feel her breathing. It was quite possibly the first time we had been together, just us, without the baby since he was born. We're alone sometimes when he's sleeping, but I always have to listen for him--my attention is never fully with her. Besides, we can't leave the house then; we can't go out into the world together. Today was so sweet. I got choked up there in the rain listening to a girl with a guitar sing "Amarillo". I thought that it may be one of those moments I'll remember in stills, as if it were a photograph. I wonder if I will?

I realize that one of the things that's changed most since the baby is that I don't have the patience to let F dally as I did before. When we're trying to get in the car and she's crawling around on the floor and not getting in her seat I lose some patience, but it's b/c the baby is loaded up and strapped in, and until the car is moving he's going to get more and more agitated. Or I don't let her take her time w/ her lunch because the baby will in a few minutes need to nurse. I don't know if this is something I can change or not, this thinking that we need to always stay on task. I've realized recently that the baby is now old enough (can hold his head up well enough) for me to put him on my back which leaves my hands more free to play with her. I've been carrying him on my front but that means I can't bend over well to help her, or I can't pull her close. I'm also starting to use the stroller more. He's so content hanging out wherever... and it frees me up to be with her if he's in the stroller rather than on my front.

I miss her still. Sometimes I wish she were my only child. I'm a bit envious of my other friends who only have one, but I just keep repeating to myself the things other women w/ kids close together tell me: later I'll be glad; it will be hard for the first 2 years, then much easier; they'll have a great relationship. I try to believe them.

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