Friday, August 16, 2013

Before and After

The day before yesterday my sister-in-law and I took the T to Cambridge so I could show her Harvard and the area where my sister and her husband live.  The only Curious George store in the world (apparently) is there, so we had to hit that up, too.

While I was there I felt impressed with how much the girls and I and aunt and uncle saw and did in that weekend before my water broke early Monday morning.  We took the ferry to Spectacle Island to fly kites and eat blackberries, we had a sunset swim at Walden Pond, we made posters at the printing press, we grilled in the Adams House courtyard, we walked my sister's puppy, we jogged along the Charles, we visited a Bastille Day celebration, and we ate and shopped a little.

I had an unexpected emotional reaction to being back in Cambridge, though.  I realized that I associated it with the Before, the time when I was pregnant, when my girls were here, when the only worry on my mind was the drive to Maine on Monday morning (would I get lost, etc.). That was when my world was going according to plan:  I was having the vacation I'd promised my girls, and giving them the undivided attention they'd asked me for and I'd spent many months determined to offer.

I was looking at Cambridge now through a different lens, without the girls, with a still sore tummy and an eye on my watch for when it was time to return to my baby.  My heart felt a little heavy, and Cambridge felt less lively and invigorating.

Meanwhile, I associate the areas around the hospital with my new reality.  This is the Tootsie side of Boston.

I'm wondering now what it will be like to go home, to the house that wasn't expecting a baby yet, a house that's been empty a lot this summer, and which is missing the cat who was there when we left.

I imagine that our baby girl, our third daughter, our fifth family member, and tenth grandchild in the family, will fill up space with her little probing eyes, sweet cries, and baby smell.

I'm missing Husband and daughters today, but so relieved they'll be together tomorrow.

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