I am home–home at last!–from two exhausting weeks in Florida. Nine of those days I worked like a dog on a commercial shoot. Five of those days I raced from Orlando to Pompano Beach to Tampa with Nate and Thalia, trying to visit everyone we knew along the way.
In this time, I stayed in three hotels. I switched rooms once. I ate forty mediocre meals and two very good ones. I walked out of one restaurant. I stepped off a flight so turbulent, it led to the most violent pukefest of my pregnancy to date. I fell asleep during every movie I tried to watch. I endured sober dinners with rowdy, heavy drinking colleagues. I humiliated myself by squeezing into a bathing suit. In front of co-workers. I brought four magazines–I found time to read half of one. And probably as many blogs. I survived two work nights that went past midnight. My drunk, obstinant coworker and I argued about single moms and their right to have children. My boss and I argued about wardrobe on one actor who would be on camera for roughly .5 seconds. Nate and I argued about directions, about who gets sick more often, about how to dress the baby, about arguing.
In our final couple of days, our hotel room was directly above “Carla and Anthony’s” wedding reception. It was also across from an elevator from which drunk, loud wedding guests poured in and out all night while our room shook from the bass booming below. The concierge was so incompetent, his suggestion of something to do in Tampa for the afternoon was “drive to another city.” The restaurant service was heinous enough that Saturday night we ordered in a pizza. The pizza was inedible–and this is coming from a pregnant woman. We ate candy bars instead.
And yet those days were among some of the most amazing, glorious, memorable in my life.
Because I absolutely fell in love.
(Gushy mommyblogging post hatahs, feel free to make your quiet and swift depart right now. No offense taken.)
If I thought I was bonded Thalia before I had been mistaken. I am now deep, deep, deep. I am obsessively, dangerously, knocked off my feet in love.
It may have been the time we spent together, or maybe just the time beforehand that we spent apart. Maybe both.
It’s the way she pops up in front of me and yells “hi!” before throwing her arms around me and pressing her lips to my face in a toddler kiss. The way she makes me cycle through the entire array of animals prompts over and over again — my favorite being when she flutters her eyelashes in response to “what does the butterfly say?” It’s every new word, new sound, new awareness at something around her; her recognition of a dog, a tree, the sun, the Ernie on her diaper.
It’s how she brightens when we take her from her crib in the morning, and cuddles up in my arms at night before bed, during the sixteenth consecutive reading of Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? (Answer: Yes. But you have to know her really well to know that that mmmmmmmm sound is a moo.)
It’s how she insists on dipping her own spoon into my food. Or into her food. Or into the water glass on the table.
It’s her energy, her essence, her purity and goodness. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever known. I feel as if I’m suddenly smack in the middle of that phase in a romantic relationship when you can think of nothing but your beloved, you start believing all the sappy lyrics in the Lite-FM songs, and all your writing turns to crap.
I would die for this little girl. I don’t know that I ever could have said that before and meant it.
#2, you’ve got a hard act to follow. I’m just sayin’.