Juliette is a month old. Everyone says that time moves faster with the second, and they’re right. The first month of Vera’s life felt like a year, each day its own kaleidoscope of new beginnings for each of us. In contrast, Juliette has slid into the motion of our family the way the second hand on a clock moves with subtle determination.
It’s as though we all just nudged over a bit in order to make room for her and now she is here, part of our days, part of the minutes that are sometimes longer than the hours.
The mornings are blurry for me. I wake thick-headed, unable to discern what month it is, only aware that there is a baby curled in my arms, her quick-kitten-breath warm against my shoulder, and another girl in the room next door, her feet padding across the hardwood floor, each step counting down the seconds until they’re both in my arms, needing, loving, pulling. My eyes open and the light is coming through the blinds, another day.
Each day stretches into the next. I’m barely keeping my head above email, above my client load at work, above phone calls and overdue thank you notes. They say the days are long and the years are short, but right now it’s the hours that are short, and the days just indistinguishable from one another. Me on the couch with the girls, Greg making coffee. Me nursing Jules, Greg running Vera to school. Me taking a shower, Greg rocking Jules to sleep. Greg finishing a writing assignment, me loading the car with girls. Me making lunch, Greg writing again, with a baby on his shoulder.
Greg showering, me feeding both girls at once. Friends stopping by, wine on the patio, Greg bouncing the baby, Vera making cheese and crackers for our guests. The afternoon sun slipping over the floors, cat in a window, ocean breeze and an afternoon walk to get yogurt. Tapping out 100 words through my phone, yes come by, my two girls, see you tomorrow, client at 6, get avocados and milk, deadline 7/17, pay bill, cat litter, thank you notes, anniversary tomorrow, dinner tonight….
And then it’s 8pm again and I can’t remember if it’s yesterday or tomorrow. Greg is reading to Vera and I’m walking in circles in the living room, Juliette in my arms, fussing, hiccuping. Veronica crying for me as soon as Greg is done with her books. Handing Juliette to Greg and crawling into bed with Vera where I sing until we both fall asleep. Waking ten minutes later, Vera’s hot kitten breath against my cheek, her arms limp and heavy around me. Crawling out of her bed and into mine with the other girl.
Doing it all over again the next day.