It's your first rite of passage, Pete, coming home. Other than being born, its the next biggest event in a your three whole days of life.
I have always wanted the day I brought my children home from the hospital to be extra special. With Thomas and Annie, I remember coming through the door and carrying my tiny bundle all around the house, showing them the lay of the land as I quietly whispered in their ear. The house was spotless, of course, because I cleaned it over and over the last four weeks of my pregnancy just to be sure that it would be clean when I got home from the hospital. And no one would be there to mess it up while I was gone.
I'll never forget when TJ went back home to shower one day while I was in the hospital with Thomas. He cut bunches of peony flowers that were just blooming in our yard and had vases of them set throughout the house for when I walked through the door. I still love peonies and whenever I see them bloom in May, I think of that day.
When I brought George home, TJ and I stopped at a furniture store before even going home. He ran inside and bought a couch cover, two pillows, a table and lamp so that he could set up a little nursing area for the baby and me. So sweet. We had two eager little people who wanted to kiss and hold their new brother. Grammy had them both dressed in new blue outfits, blue in honor of their brother of course. I had to share my new bundle with others...
And then with Evelyn, I remember coming home to a beautifully set table for two, thanks to grammy, complete with wine and meatloaf and a baked potato. The kids were bathed while we dined and I remember thinking it was a lovely way to come home. Although I had to share the baby with more hands again...
And now, bringing home baby number five, I think back to the past ten years of our marriage, the different homes we have brought our children home to, and how each homecoming is special. And yours was special, Pete. Different, but special.
My first request while pulling out of the hospital parking lot was to stop and get a coffee on the way home. It was a beautiful day, only in the thirties, but the sun was shining brightly.
Pop had dropped Annie and Thomas off at school before coming to get us at the hospital. It was only George and Evie who were with us, and we have never brought a baby home with the other children along for the ride. When we got home, it was so quiet. George and Evie played and watched a movie while pop and I just sat in the living room drinking our coffee, reading the paper, and holding you. At one point, as I was nursing you, Evelyn came and joined us nursing her baby too.
I think my body was in cleaning withdrawal and so I began to clean up the kitchen.
It was nice to come home early in the morning this time as opposed to at night. We had the whole day to just look at you. You looked so small in our home, and yet you just fit right in.
Grammy picked up Thomas and Annie from school and then went to visit nama Joyce. They didn't get home until five o'clock. It was weird having them gone all day. And then, reality came and slapped me in the face. Thomas had basketball practice, so he and pop left at six. There was also a meeting for parents of children making their first penance this year. TJ went to that as well. I fed children, and gave baths, all the while feeling sad.
I've always gotten sad in the evenings the first few weeks at home, and I can never explain it. Mornings, I wake up, even with little to no sleep, and feel ready to greet the day. There is hope and promise in the morning. What will the day bring? With the sun shining, a long hot shower and a cup of coffee, I can tackle the world.
Not so, after five o'clock.
I get sad that TJ will eventually have to go back to work. I get sad that life has changed and wonder if I will be able to care for this tiny person, and give them what they need. I worry about them getting sick. I'll miss being at the hospital. I'll cry for no reason, because I'm both happy and sad.
Waking up the first morning was different this time around as well. Usually I've been brought breakfast in bed accompanied by all our children surrounding the baby and myself. This time, Thomas and Annie had to go to school. I cracked open one eye to say goodbye and have a great day. TJ took them to school and Pete went along for the ride. I woke up alone, even without the new baby. After showering, shaving my legs, putting makeup on, getting dressed, making the bed I felt much better after a long night of little sleep. I headed downstairs just in time for TJ and Pete to come in the door and hand me a Starbucks coffee. Awesome.
George making his own breakfast of pickles and bagels.
I'm adjusting to the fact that as our children get older, life gets faster. With each child comes more responsibilities and activities. Sometimes I think I really believe I've just had my first child and should be able to sit and hold him all day. That was nine years ago. Today is a much different story. And that's good. Different, but good. I like that I have older children now that can really help. Whether its making food, or holding the baby, or helping with the other two, Thomas and Annie can really be helpful.
I had to stop and take this picture when I saw Annie holding Pete in one hand and doing her math homework with the other. A precious moment indeed.
It was a beautiful first week at home with you, Pete. You fit right in and I can't imagine life without you. Now, let's stop partying at night and get some sleep!