Tuesday 9 October 2012

Four October Mornings

An October Morning, 2009
It's 10 AM. I wake up slowly as the sun shines through the window. I pull the covers up over my eyes and roll in close to my wife. Her arm reaches out under my shoulders across our crisp new sheets and she kisses my forehead. It has been two months since our wedding and we are still very much newlyweds. Half asleep, I feel her arm gently move from under me and I hear her footsteps down the hall. My hand rubs the spot where she was and I can still feel the warmth in her absence. She returns a few moments later with two cups of hot coffee made instantly in the Tassimo (best.wedding.present.ever). The smell convinces me to open my eyes and I sit up in bed and reach out for the delicious caffeine. 

"What do you want to do today?" She asks. I think for a moment, wondering how I should respond, and eventually whisper "make a baby." Of course, it's not a possibility. We are missing a very key ingredient. But my longing to feel a little one growing inside of my womb is so overwhelming that it's never far from my thoughts. 

Later that day we are meeting up with friends. They look tired. Their toddler is running laps around her mother and singing the Dora theme song on indefinite repeat. They ask what we did that morning and we tell them that we slept in and drank coffee in bed. Their faces drop and they both let out an audible sigh. They reminisce to each other about the days of sleeping past 6 AM. I can't help but be a bit annoyed. Don't they know what they have? A child of their very own. She is perfection personified. And look at that cute little smirk she makes as she reaches for her mother's cell phone. How could they be so ungrateful? [Editor's Note: I'm sorry I didn't get it then. I get it now.]

An October Morning, 2010
My alarm goes off at 6 AM. It's the weekend but I can't sleep any later in fear of missing taking my temperature at the exact same time every.single.day. I've become obsessed with my basal body temperature graph and have convinced myself that collecting and entering that information with unrelenting precision is essential to my becoming pregnant. I am still struggling to accept the fact that our last try was unsuccessful but there is no time for self-indulgent sulking as try number three is due to happen in a matter of days. 

Tracy flips over and puts her pillow over her head. I'm envious of her ability to continue to sleep and instead lie there, awake, day dreaming about the child that will be coming our way shortly. I imagine myself the perfect mother - never tired or over-whelmed. Always in control. Soft but firm. 

An October Morning, 2011
It's five AM and I wake-up to Mac's muffled cries. After nine months of not sleeping at all while growing the tiny human I am now enjoying the best sleep of my life. It is hard to believe that he has been on this earth for eight whole weeks already. I pick him up from the bassinet and cuddle him close to my chest. I don't mind the intrusion into my sleep. The smell from the top of his head is enough to get me through the day. We spend the next half hour cuddled together. His tiny body lies between me and my wife and I am happier than I ever imagined possible. My arm stretches underneath him and keeps him close. Safe in my arms I imagine never putting him down. 

An October Morning, 2012
It's 8 AM and I have been awake for four hours already. Mac is walking. And by walking I mean running. Relentlessly. He is so fond of his new mode of transportation that he can rarely be convinced to stop. Even to eat. I shove spoonfuls of yoghurt into his mouth as he races past me. Back and forth across the living room. Pausing briefly to pet the cat, climb on the couch, or do an aerial dismount from the TV stand. The phone rings and I see my mom's name pop up on the call display. "It's Bah-bah!" I tell him hoping to convince him to come check out the phone instead of pulling down my wedding photo for the tenth time today. 

"I was thinking," my mom begins with a dramatic pause, "what if we took Mac home with us for the week after Thanksgiving?" My mind tries to catch up with what she has just said. It waffles between the horrifying thought of a whole week away from my child?! to the delicious thought of a whole week away from my child?! She may as well have asked me if she could borrow my left arm for the week. The thought of being away from him for that long seems so unimaginable. And then I picture myself well rested in a clean house and a Hell Yes escapes my lips before I can contain it. 

On that October morning in 2009 I could have never understood how I would be feeling on this October morning. It would have been impossible for me to comprehend the conflicting emotions of bliss at the state of relaxation that can come when you all of a sudden are not spending every moment trying to keep a busy toddler alive and the torture of being away from that toddler who has taken up a permanent residence in your heart. 

Each October morning had it's share of good and bad. Each has it's charm.  But even in my disheveled and sleep deprived state, October 2012 is the clear winner. October 2012 contains this face. And how could any other October compete with that?

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