Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Good-Bye To All That

“I’ve been gone for so long,” I said mixing a bottle of water and baby formula for the little bundle in the bassinet.
“So?” Mr. Wonderful said jolting down a cup of espresso.
“I haven’t blogged in months.” 
“It’s okay,” 
“People will wonder where I’ve been.”
“Just tell them.”
“I’ll start with the neighbors.”

Yawning, I shuffled to the driveway for the morning newspaper and saw our local rose specialist digging in his garden.
“Morning, Jerry. Your roses look lovely.”
“Thanks,” he said straightening his San Francisco 49ers cap. Then pointing to our house, “You still live there?”
“I know I’ve not been around much, but that’s because—”
“You have a baby.” I stopped short. “Good thing you put in that low maintenance, drought-tolerant garden. With a baby you won’t be doing much gardening now.” 
What?! “Jerry, how did you know about our baby?”
“Harold told me.”

Just then Charles appeared in his driveway. The dogs were loaded in his car ready for a trip to the dog park.
“Morning, neighbor!” he said with a friendly wave before crossing the street. “Long time no see,” he said giving me a bear hug.
“I know,” I said hugging him back. “I haven’t been around much because—”
“You have a baby.” I stopped short. “Good thing you redid your kitchen. I can’t imagine having a baby and not having a kitchen.”
What?! “Charles, how did you know about our baby?” 
“Harold told me.”

That was so Harold: flapping his lips about news in the neighborhood without even talking to the source of the news. Namely moi

Returning to our house I noticed our 86 year-old neighbor sitting in a lawn chair in his driveway.
“Hi Harold, working on your tan?” 
“Which is something you won’t be doing much of with that baby of yours.” I stopped short. “Babies take a lot of time and attention. Good thing you got the house painted. Now there are fewer lead paint flakes for her to eat.” That is so Harold: he’s such a ray of positive sunshine. (Insert sarcastic tone here.)
“How did you know we had a baby? And a girl?”
“I may be old but I’m not deaf or blind. Yet.” He looked at the pink color on his bare arms then stood up. “How’s she doing?”
“The baby’s doing great, but I’m tired. Exhausted really. Plus we still have so much to do on The House, but I can’t imagine redoing anything on it right now.”
“Babies sap your energy. With them, the years are short but the days are long. So enjoy it. All of it,” he said folding up the lawn chair and disappeared into his garage.

Maybe he was right. Maybe they all were right. (Insert tired sigh here.) I should be thankful for what Mr. Wonderful and I had redone and should just enjoy being a mom now. I should say good-bye to all those trips to the home improvement store; good-bye to all those hours comparing tile, and good-bye to all those weeks living in a construction zone. I should say good-bye to all that and just put a pin in home improvement projects, including replacing the sagging patio awning, until our Baby was older. Like 18 years-old older.

I shuffled inside for a cup of tea and back to Mr. Wonderful and our dear Baby.
“What did the neighbors say about our news?” he said while bouncing the Little One on his knee. 
“They already knew we had a baby and a girl. So I guess everyone in the world knows now.”  I sat in the kitchen, took Baby in my arms and kissed her soft cheek. “And that’s fine by me.” My eyes ran from her tiny, perfect eyes, nose and mouth, to her tiny, hands with perfect nails. If the home improvement projects had to stop for a while, including the sagging outdoor awning, because of her, that was okay by me.

Mr. Wonderful pointed to the sagging awning over the patio. “Want to redo the awning?” Was he crazy? Having a baby while fixing up The House was madness. It would take us a gazillion times longer with her. But who was I kidding? 
“Let’s do it!” I didn’t want to sacrifice or settle. I wanted the Baby and (one day) a completely redone DIY house! (Insert a hopeful cheer here.) Even if it meant doing so while living in a construction zone. 

So “Good-bye” to Speedy DIY Projects and “Hello” to Continued, But Slow, Home Improvement with Baby! HOORAY!