Clara is almost 9 months old. Two nights ago Gerald and I were discussing a dinner invitation we received and he said: "Let's invite more people over. Let's be social. Whoever - old friends, new friends. Let's start entertaining."
I thought for a second, and amazingly, the idea made me happy. It made me excited. Yes!
For the previous nine months it feels as if Gerald and I have been operating in a mind fog of exhaustion coupled with a hundred new experiences as new parents we have to assimilate and incorporate into our lives each day.
For the pat nine months : I haven't slept past 5:30 or 6 in the morning. I haven't had more that four hours of connected sleep. I have had a baby with me pretty much 24 hours a day. Gerald and I have also watched an amazing baby grow and learn something new every day and I hope we have something to do with that.
One night while giving Clara a bath, Gerald said: "Clara smiles so much. She smiles all the time because we're smiling at her. That's a good sign, right?"
But in all those nine months I have also felt like Gerald and Clara and I were living in this cocoon of "this is exactly as much as we can handle right in this moment."
Any time I was asked to extend myself past my new family I felt overwhelmed. A train trip to visit Gerald's parents left me shaky and coal-eyed with fatigue. Friends who visited me at my apartment got to see me, if they didn't - I certainly didn't accept any of the offers I got to visit them anywhere.
Sometimes staring at the week-old pile of laundry made me want to weep, and after another day spent figuring this parent thing out, the idea of cooking dinner was just too much to handle.
Like a light going on, things have turned around. Gerald and I are enjoying cooking nice dinners for ourselves, alongside the endless supplies of blended fruits and vegetables for Clara. Suddenly, I don't dread the idea of being out in the world anymore. I want to crawl out of my cocoon...and apparently, Gerald does too.
I am sure, Clara (who just learned to clap) will be clapping her hands in delight for all the new people she is about to meet.