My baby is back

Ferdinand flew to Paris with a friend of his, the day after I left for my job. Just the two of them. And today he made it home. I remember just after he was born, my first day back from the hospital I ventured outside with the baby and Jonathan to walk to the East River. Two blocks away. It is a weird time just after you give birth. You are becoming a food supply. Your body is easily mistakable for being pregnant. Still. I had on a red wrap around skirt that I had worn to give birth and a pale blue blouse that was loose enough to hang without stretching around the steadily growing food supply and slowly shrinking baby carrier of a midsection. Everything was emotional. The blue, the red, the feel of shoes on my feet, the baby, and most vividly, the fact that because Jonathan had him in his arms and was walking towards the river at a human pace, the baby was moving away from me. I moved at a less than human pace; an injured, stitched, not well fed or rested pace. And so I panicked all of a sudden that my baby was on the outside now, no longer on the inside where I had much more control of his whereabouts. “Stop!” I shouted. “Stop!” And the human waited for the not quite human to waddle/walk/catch up. I took the baby back. I nestled him into the fabric that kept him strapped to my chest. Where he belonged. Where I could feel his breath in my heart. “You were a world away,” I said. “Ten feet is crazy. The baby can’t be ten feet me from me. It is too much. I can’t bear it. It is too far. It is ten feet.” And the ocean that stood between my world and ten feet away drained from my face in relief. “Okay,” Jonathan said. “Why don’t you hold the baby until it feels right to hand him over.” “Yeah,” I said. And then I cried some more because I couldn’t imagine that that day would ever come. But it is easier now. I got off the bus that brought me to work all the way out here by the ocean, only hours after Ferdinand made it home. I didn’t watch the doors close from my seat when they called my stop so I could stay on the bus for the return trip back.

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