I sit here nursing my four month old daughter. I study her tiny face, her hands, her feet. There’s no better place to be or better company to keep. It’s Friday night around eight o’ clock. Across the room, my husband folds her pink and purple clothes, tiny in his adult hands. My mind wanders back to all the Friday nights over the course of our six year relationship. I can’t help but chuckle at the change a baby brings.
We used to spend our Friday nights at Benaroya Hall in downtown Seattle, Washington, listening to sonatas and piano concertos followed by lemon sorbets down the Avenue. We used to spend our Friday nights with drinks, watching the sun dip below the horizon on a crow’s nest in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. We used to spend our Friday nights hosting dinner parties for friends in Raleigh, North Carolina. We were on the side of the cavernous valley that separates adults from parents. We were swept around by the winds of our desires, by the constant beauty of exciting change. But, we decided to venture into the journey of parenthood, a journey with more ups and downs in a single hour than a childless adult life brought in a week. Our Friday nights look very different now. Instead of showered and polished, we are spent and tired and in our pajamas by 8:00pm. Instead of entertaining friends with elaborate menus, we are entertaining a very curious and rambunctious four month old whose appetite is fierce and attention span is short.
Being a parents makes one more aware of time, the swift speed at which is passes by.
My heart is gripped that one day in the not too far distant future, she will be in charge of her own Friday nights. She will be grabbing her keys and running out the door to her own adventure, leaving her father and I alone once again, leaving us to our whims, but taking our hearts with her.
So I hold her closer.
In the not too far distant future, she will no longer rely on me for food, nor her father for comfort and games of peek-a-boo.
So I kiss her forehead.
In the not too far distant future, she won’t cry for my attention, nor smile every time my husband enters the room.
So I squeeze her hand.
In the not too far distant future, she won’t find all of my facial expressions funny, nor will she want to cuddle with us in our bed.
So I caress her tiny feet.
In the not too far distant future, Friday nights will be for her to conquer her own world, to be with her friends, to experience all of the world. She will be writing her story, just as my husband and I wrote ours before her.
Our Friday nights were about us.
Now, they are about her and will be about her for as long as she will allow it.
My husband looks over at me and smiles as he puts her clothes away, “Isn’t this life beautiful?”he asks.
Yes. Yes, it is.