My husband stepped out the door and I kissed him good-bye as he headed to work. It wasn’t an unusual scene, but a new one. This particular day was his first heading back to work after the birth of our first child. I was starting a new job as well, as a mother, taking care of an entire human being that had no idea how to hold her head, move her hands with fine motor skills or even that she had hands at all.
I was home taking care of a screaming sack of potatoes that shit hourly on the hour.
I was mortified.
So I held him a little too long that morning, my husband, in the door of our rambler. “I love youuuuuuu. Have a gooooooooo daaaaayyyyy. Looks like it won’t be too cold todaaaaaaaaay.”
He knew I was stalling. He’s smart like that.
The baby squirmed and kicked in my arms signaling her patience was giving in. Before she could start a full wail, he looks up and says, “Have fun with that! Seeya babe!” and nearly runs to his car before driving off at mock speed.
The baby and I. Alone. For the first time.
We look at each other. Her face contortions like an old man without his morning prune juice. She twitches, looks up at me and farts.
It was the first day in a long string of days colored with similar stories. And, like most first days on the job, the magnitude and simultaneous insignificance of each detailed moment won’t fully be appreciated until many, many, many years down the road.
Five, to be exact.
As I kiss my daughter off to school and begin a new job, an office job, a job without her in my arms or under my feet or clamoring for my attention, I miss that first moment, the ledge where we both stood that morning on our first journey together. And Oh, I miss it.
I always will.