Wednesday was my mom’s day out, the first time in months that I was to go out by myself. It was a beautiful day, the kind that makes it obvious why we’re willing to sit through eight months of rain to get to it: sunny, warm without being hot, and breezy. I went downtown for two-ish hours, but then I had to go back home and coax the lads to join me—it was too nice of a day to spend it alone.
The two of us adults got vegan barbeque—and we got to share with Joey, a bit, which he was pretty happy about—and then walked to the library. At that point, Mr. Book left us to study out of an LSAT prep book for a couple of hours while the Snerks and I wandered around. He fell asleep in the Ergo and so I marched around and around, through much of the downtown. When he woke up, we stopped at a fountain, where he was petted by a gaggle of cooing preschool kids. I’ve discovered that kids who have not been taught how to deal with babies tend to ignore Joey, whereas kids who’ve gotten talks about gentle touches seem unfailingly to come carefully stroke him or occasionally—adorably—kiss the back of his head. Joey seemed quite pleased by all the attention. The two of us rode the train for a few blocks back and forth, went to the library ourselves to read children’s books. I held him up to picture book displays and read whatever he lunged at; apparently the noises that Mother Bear makes in Blueberries for Sal are just hilarious. When the library closed, the three of us met up out front, and then caught a bus back home. Whenever we were all together, Joey was smiling and laughing at his pop. If there’s some smitten in the air at casa Book, it’s infected us all.
I’ve been listening to an audiobook memoir by someone who seems like a pretty unhappy parent of a little kid, and I’m having a hard time empathizing with him. Do I enjoy a cup of coffee with myself every once in awhile? Sure. Do I sometimes wish that I could go to a movie? You bet. But honestly, even on the bad days, I feel pretty lucky. Who knows how much of that is losing Cricket, how much is the sweet temper of the Snerks, and how much is just me liking this mom thing. But when the baby wakes me up from a dream of being kicked in the chest by kicking me in the chest repeatedly and smiling to see me goggle groggily at him, I’m glad to see him.