I woke up with baby tunes stuck in my head. As I scurried for my robe in the icy morning air and I cursed the silly songs presence during a time my mind belongs to me alone Craig said, “me too!” I wanted to scare them out of there somehow. As soon as it faded off to a low volume in the back of my head, Craig had the indecency to recite the lyrics out loud. It gave him great joy to give me that personal agony.
These days I have no choice but to play these Veggie Tales tunes in the car while I drive because Kira loves the music and it is as calming as a warm bath. I will honestly do anything to help her relax in her car seat. I remember the days when I could listen to the sermons from my church in Arizona while I drove around town. I love keeping up with what is happening there. My life has temporarily taken a vacation from all things adult. I can be found crawling on the floor, carrying on a conversation with a fat dark hand holding my nose, dashing away from some social interaction to tend a baby, and being too distracted to have a phone conversation with a friend or get to the computer to keep up with my mailbox. Last week I was fast asleep on the guest bed in Kira’s room, while she napped, when my Spanish teacher came to give me a welcome home review lesson. I slept so deeply I never heard Lucy barking. Thankfully my friends are gracious with the new me.
The most humiliating moment of new motherhood was at the London airport. We were pulled aside at security because I had full baby bottles and baby food in my carryon. This is supposed to be allowed, but apparently only on one condition. I was asked to drink her bottle for the man. What? I said, “here she will drink some so you will know it is not bomb material”. He said, “no, Ma’am you have to taste it for me.” So I had to tip a baby bottle up and suck out of the nipple and actually, worst of all, taste the horrible formula. My stomach lurches at just the thought of it. And I want to hide my face at the thought of what I might have looked like at that moment.
My dignity might be set aside for a while. I am fine with that. I wish it away. These days I am living the results of an “AHA moment” I had long ago while I sat in a Watoto baby orphanage with a child the size of Kira on my lap. That moment it occurred to me and I understood what I was meant to do with the next chapter in my life. I was at a fork in my road wondering what to do with myself now that one was off to college and the others are growing more independent by the day. I needed more than a craft project or a hobby (Craig knows I have enough of those). I needed another purpose that would mesh with what I was already doing. A career seemed to pull me away from my tasks as mom and just complicate life, and I didn’t want that. Adopting a baby would ground me securely in the work of my life and give new purpose, greater meaning and immense satisfaction. As I sat there with that little child in my lap it was as natural as the green on a leaf that I would go home and we would begin process to adopt from Uganda. My husband literally shouted “hooray!” when I told him I was ready to adopt. He’d been waiting patiently for me to get there. That’s how 2010 became the year of waiting. I don’t even want to think about that now. It was harder than I ever thought it would be.
This year of 2011 is anticipated to be full of firsts and great fun as we watch Kira grow and develop. Here I am with spewed yogurt on my clothes, hair bows and dollys all over the floors, tutus and baby tights in the laundry, no space in my head for my own thoughts, and I know that I’ve found my sweet spot. This is honestly fun. I have a partner again. I get to teach her language, and give her experiences in nature, introduce healthy foods, and share a growing love. The shelf of my hip bone is no longer vacant. The purpose of my days is no longer wide open. Best of all loneliness has vanished. This is a level of lonely that is not constrained to hours in a single day while boys and husband go on their merry way. This is a forecasted future loneliness of having only boys. I have always known I must be prepared for my sons to marry, and this would definitely change our relationship. I am the fulcrum of their lives now, but someday I need to step aside and their wives will take that position. It makes me feel sad and lonely knowing that I will be on the outside of their lives. I know it’s not exclusion, but a valid, necessary separation. A tear tracks my cheek this minute at the mere thought of it. But now that I have a daughter I do not have the same forecast for our relationship. I see it getting bumpy for much of her growth and development, but once she stabilizes into the adult she is meant to be we will pick up a rich, satisfying, mutually growing friendship that I will cherish. A great sigh of relief escapes me at the thought of not being alone in that season of my life and it dries up that tear I shed for anticipating loneliness.