Matt’s friend from high school, who is now a grown up going by the name of Jonathan but who will always be known by his high school nickname Spike to me, came by the house on Friday. He brought with him his wife, Mary Beth and their kids, Brooke, Dillon and Stella. Brooke has grown a foot since I saw her last. She is a cute as a bug third-grader going on college senior. Dillon, who became Matt’s best little buddy, is still the cutest little toe headed kindergartner in town. Dillon was so fixated on playing with the dogs and Matt, that he barely knew the rest of us existed. Stella is the four-week-old, blue-eyed, blonde peach-fuzz-haired newcomer to the group.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity of chit chat, they were bringing out the baby. I was glad it was Mary Beth and not me that had to figure out the combination lock to the car seat latches and then pull the precious cargo out without smacking its darling little peach-fuzz-covered head on the oddly shaped handle. When I had kids, car seats had metal stands, not the cute little double as a rocker bottoms they have now. And don’t even think about a handle. If you couldn’t balance that bad boy on your jutted out left hip, you were in deep dirt.
I should have known that flicking toothpaste into my eye first thing Monday morning was an omen of how the week was to pan out. True to rights, my week had been one giant pain in the eyeball. The second I looked into little Stella’s face, all the stress of my week just floated away. It’s wonderful to hold a warm cuddly human in my arms who has never been touched by the stress of a deadline, who has never known the sadness of loss or the fear of failure. To hold something that just emanates that serene calmness that can only be owned by the truly naive is intoxicating to me. All the worries of my work-a-day world didn’t seem to matter in those glorious few minutes. I was simply happy to sit peacefully, absorbing her aura of baby calmness and breathing in her amazing “new baby” smell. You know the smell of a child that has yet to play in its own poop, eat a bug or decide that rolling around in a mud puddle in their Sunday best seems like a good idea.
Just about the time I was good and relaxed, having pushed all my tension out of the way so that I could selfishly absorb all this baby’s calm, quiet, yummy smelling essence, David turned to me and said, “Does this make you want to have another one?” Without a moment’s hesitation, I gave him my most heartfelt answer, “Oh god, no. I just want to play with theirs.”