Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer's Golden Moments

I am running with sweat dripping off me chin and I am thinking about things. My mind wanders aimlessly from one thing to the next and I notice that I am mainly fixated on my family. I keep coming back to the things she does, how much she has changed, how much I laugh lately.

Marisa: Fogurt? {She says while pounding on the refrigerator door}
Me: Forgut? What do you want?
Marisa: {wailing loudly} FOOOO GURT!
Me: Wait; wait a minute… say that word again?
Marisa: {calmer now} FO-GURT.
Me: Ah, yogurt. You want YO-GURT?
Marisa: Un-ha.
We laugh together at the discovery, the understanding of one another in that moment.

Summer is breathing out. She was born in summer’s exhale. That moment when summer is at its pinnacle, at its peak of shimmery summery perfection. The heat and the storms rise up and pass by in tremendous waves in the Midwest. One wave after another – a Midwestern ocean of weather. With each new wave, we are left to bask in a swampy blanket of humidity that lays next our skin, in our homes, on the streets, thick enough to cut with a knife. There is no stopping these waves.  With each new wave of heat and rain and humidity, we prepare for the next season.

I run beside the weeds that are well over five feet tall. I look across the field to the big red barn and the hazy evening sun. I see a million little bugs that I cannot identify caught up in the waning rays of the sun. She is a lot like those bugs. Haphazardly running from one item to the next. She is charming, with her giggle, a blur of red hair and still chubby tanned limbs, giving chase to a taller little person, hoping to catch him and fall down into a pile of giggles, tickling one another.

And yet she stops more now. She stops to play with an old train set, a cast off of her brother’s that keeps her attention for ten minutes before she finds something she should not get into, a medicine cabinet or the hall closet. She is changing rapidly now in ways I cannot describe sometimes. She is my treasure, a lovely mix of us that seems to get better with each passing day.

I run pounding away along the trail and my mind travels back to that those days before she was born, when summer was getting ready to breathe out and remembering how I felt. How I was scared and nervous to bring a new human being into our lives, how it would change our world. How the world would change forever as it always does when one new human comes onto this earth, just the same as when an old human leaves this earth. It is life altering.

I remember being pregnant and hot and uncomfortable. I remember laying my hand on my swollen belly during those weeks before she was born and rubbing gently, lovingly my last swollen pregnant belly. I remember sitting out on the back deck with swollen ankles crossed and a little boy trying very hard to hold on to his status as only sitting in what was left of my lap. We were sweating and hot and I nuzzled the top of his head and prayed for hope, for him, for her, for all of us.

I remember that perfect moment when she was laid in my arms one fine summer evening at that exact moment when summer was at the top of its game. The weeds and the bugs and swampy heat at its height before things start to change and discolor and die. I do not remember life before he came into and now I do not know life before she came into it. I treasure that moment with her that I felt I missed with him after birth, when I was in an exhausted and drugged state and they took him from me to make sure he was breathing okay.

This time, in the darkened quiet room, with just one person tending to me medicinally with no drugs in my system except adrenaline, I had that textbook moment where my baby was laid on my chest to find nourishment on her own. I grinned down at her and ran my fingers down her sweet chubby newborn cheeks, that baby soft skin, those teeny tiny toes and fingers. We were one. My golden summer baby arrived at last.

“Nunning, Momma, Nunning?”
Yes, later Mommy will go running.
{Pumping her arms like she running} Nunning! She shouts.
She leans over to kiss my leg and she is off.

I finish my run as the sun sets; my face is on fire and it is steamy out. It is getting darker out more quickly now. I know that time is flying past. Two years. Two golden years of summer exhaling at this time and life unfolding before me. I stand at the edge of our driveway looking at our house, drenched and tired. I stare at the closed blinds and dark windows and I am struck by how amazing this life is.
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