So I had this day last week. It started when I loaded both kids into the car and headed to Costco. Halfway there I realized I had left my Costco card at home so I turned around to get it. I then made it all the way to Costco, unloaded both kids, and set up the stroller, only to realize I had left my wallet at home. We had to abort without so much as a free sample.
Later, I left Vincenzo at home with Grammy and headed to a laser hair removal appointment. I got lost and was a half an hour late, showing up doubly stressed out because of getting lost and because they were about to shoot friggin’ lasers at a *very* sensitive area of my body. Once there, I was told the baby would have to be left in the hallway during my treatment. The tiny, helpless five-week-old who I haven’t even left alone with his own father! It wouldn’t have been that bad if the 21-year-old technician (21!!?) hadn’t stretched out the appointment by telling me about her past few nights of casual sex and going off about how gross everyone’s vaginas are while I nodded politely and prayed to God that the receptionist who was all over my baby when I came in hadn’t ran off to Canada with him by now.
I got home with just enough time to scoop up Vincenzo for a birthday party at a park, but when I went to get the present I saw the cat had peed on it. (By the way, CAT FOR SALE. CHEAP.) My mom rewrapped the gift while I looked for the shotgun which, lucky for the cat, I couldn’t find, and we drove the 25 minutes to the park only to find ourselves the only ones in the entire vicinity. I realized the party had been moved due to rain, but I couldn’t talk Vincenzo into walking back to the car to get my cell phone, so I sat down on a wet park bench and nursed the baby, who promptly spit up on my jacket. Then again on my shirt. Then in my hair.
This is normally the point of the story when one might start crying. I almost did.
But then I happened to look down at Rocco, who had fallen asleep with his tiny hands on my shoulder. He had that milk-drunk look of contentment on his miniature face, and he breathed his perfect, tiny breaths on my neck. I fell in love again, like I do every time I hold my baby.
And I looked at Vincenzo, bouncing around the play set and lasering things to oblivion, the picture of glee. He didn’t care that his pants were soaked from the rain or that we were missing the party or that his mom was tired and cranky and not playing with him. He was running, skipping, galloping, jumping from toy to toy—doing anything but walking—thoroughly enjoying his own imagination.
Despite my own rain-soaked pants and my sour-milk smell, I felt my feathers fluff back up with Rocco’s peace and Vincenzo’s joy. I thought about how I spend my days with two of the three people I love more than anything in the world, and who love me back just as much. We were at a park surrounded by trees and trails, breathing in the rain-washed air and the woodsy soil and the smell of a thousand green things growing around us.
Did I mention I was holding the baby I spent the past two years longing for? That I was holding new life, brand new life, in my own arms?
I used to spend my days with 150 kids who could care less about me. And then I’d meet with their parents who often wanted to “have a word with me.” At night I would spend hours grading essays and trying to unwind from my hectic, draining day. The next day the kids would throw those essays in the garbage on their way out of the classroom.
Bad days really aren’t that bad anymore.