I thought I wasn’t needed.
My daughter and her husband have this whole new baby thing under control. Nursing? No problem. Claire gained a pound her first week home. Nights? Piece of cake. Claire sleeps in 3- to 4-hour intervals. No real exhaustion in this house. A little projectile vomit, some outrageous poops. No problem. The dresser is filled with clean bibs and onesies and sleepers.
So why am I here in this perfectly functioning house? Because my presence is comforting. Mother the mother, a wise friend told me. So I cook a little; hold the baby so Cass can take a shower, change the laundry, go to the bathroom; sit on the couch and watch “Gilmore Girls” with my daughter as she nurses Claire and we talk about silly stuff.
Nothing about my relationship with my daughter has changed, even though I was expecting this huge shift. Shift to what I don’t know, but we talk the same, behave the same, love each other the same. We just have a new girl in our inner circle.
It’s now 8:30 in the evening. Matt is sitting on the couch, legs outstretched on the cushions. Claire is snuggled in his arms and sound asleep. Cassie is sleeping on his left leg. The Pittsburgh Penguins are playing the Toronto Maple Leafs. I’m plugged into iTunes and writing. Love permeates the room and there’s nothing mysterious about it. It just is. Mother to daughter. Husband to wife. Parent to child.
I’m part of this moment and needed in this moment. It’s as close to perfect as anyone can get in this life. I’m sure of it.