Shuffle, Shuffle, Whump!


From “Life is as a Mother”

 

As I sit here polishing up a fun story about parenthood that I documented a while back, I realize that it has been three years to the day! (I love little coincidences like that.) The Little Bit was barely four here, exploring her world and exercising her preschool freedom, while the hubbins and I were enjoying our annoyingly standard shameless display of infatuation with one another. Enjoy.

It’s after dinner on a random Tuesday night, and my husband and I are cleaning the kitchen together. A smooth jazz nocturne is playing softly in the background while our child is entertaining herself quietly in the adjacent dining room. We find ourselves wound together in a gentle embrace, nose to nose, swaying almost imperceptibly to the languid rhythms of a sandy sax over a walking bass, transporting us under the spotlight of a street lamp on the shimmering pave of the city. Our skin glows sepia in the speckled grain of a bygone era, but the glint in our eyes transcends the ages of man. We are timeless lovers swept up in a gritty Harlem tryst.

Then suddenly, in glaring, garish high-definition…

 

*shuffle, shuffle, WHUMP*

 

Now, every parent knows that the brief moment of silence between a “whump” and the child’s response is agonizing. Is this going to be an amusing anecdote or a Dateline tragedy? That transcendent glint in our eyes is quickly muted by the dilated pupils of sympathetic response as we brace for potential disaster. Our bodies stiffen involuntarily, our soft embrace turning to stone.

 

“…I okay!”

 

The tiny tot emerges wearing

swim goggles,

water shoes,

and an inner tube.

The tension melts away and our faces crinkle into silent lip-on-lip laughter, fully embracing the inane nature of our new life stage. His lips brush my cheek as he whispers, “I love doing this with you.”

 

Romance and parenthood are not mutually exclusive. Romance can be easily dissolved by the demands of parenthood, but a substance doesn’t just vanish when it dissolves…it becomes incorporated. It flavors, it enhances, and under the right conditions it can be re-crystallized and savored in its pure form. And when it inevitably gets re-dissolved, you just learn to enjoy the flavor of the solution.

 

shuffle shuffle whump

 

Thanks for reading!

Deidre sig, transp bg

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