Adventure tee by The Blue Envelope
Every morning, my husband gets up and starts getting ready for work. Parenting has rendered us pretty good at multitasking. He'll get dressed for work while simultaneously making Ethan breakfast and I'll sip my iced coffee (Will Wake Before The Kids for Starbucks is my motto) while struggling to find my most clean pair of dirty yoga pants and warming a bottle for Carmen. It's this morning dance of chaos that ensures I'm always late to wherever we have plans to go, which is particularly frustrating because I like to be early and I haven't let that go yet. Still, every morning, my children lay down on the rug in Carmen's room and pose for what Ethan has dubbed their "boring morning pictures."
Secretly, he loves it. He'll whisper "come here, sissy! It's me, your bruh bruh," as he kisses her on the cheek before rolling his eyes at me or sticking out his tongue or shaking his ankles just enough to ensure my otherwise frameworthy photo is just the right amount out of focus.
These morning pictures? They're medicine for my soul. They're healing in so many ways. They are hope in picture form and I try to explain to my exasperated four year old who just wants to finish his peanut butter on toast that one day when he's a grown up, he will appreciate these photos. I tell him of my plans to turn them into a book and he starts counting how many more years he has until he's eighteen and doesn't have to take them anymore. "Maybe I can wear my Jack Skellington shirt in tomorrow's picture," he'll declare before running out of Carmen's room. He loves these pictures as much as I do.
There was a time, even just six months ago, that this life felt impossible. I turned 30 on February 1st, laced in depression and failure and inadequacy. A few weeks later, Carmen burst into our lives and so did purpose. Hope. Laughter. Love. As close to completion as we can ever be.
There she was.
Life has sort of broken off into this little floating island of After Carmen and I'm still trying to navigate some sort of attachment to the mainland again. Despite the chaos that comes with having a newborn and a four year old (no one has even sat on our couch for weeks -- likely because you can't even find it underneath the massive mountain of laundry), life feels a little bit like a dream. Most days I feel like we're floating and Carmen is our waterwings. Real life seems narrowly out of reach, but I haven't really tried to reach for it. For so long, I've associated a new normal with trying to stomach unpleasantness that can't be avoided, but this new normal fits more like a reverie. We're sort of floating comfortably near the shoreline while the undesirable moments float by out to sea in the distance. Every (ungodly early) morning we wake up and the dream continues.
And so do the morning pictures.