There was a time when i thought that having alone time was the best thing in the world. That rapidly changed as i approached 30; my circle of friends had dwindled considerably and for the first time ever, i began to feel lonely.
As if the universe took pity on me, i literally ran into the girl that i knew i had to marry. I don’t even know why she said yes but within a year we were hitched and happily living together.
For another two years the both of us conquered life with a little more zeal and zest than before we were married. There was something about having someone on your side, like a teammate, that made things just that much easier or bearable. Life seemed pretty awesome, until the old loneliness crept back in.
The two of us were one; that’s the only way i can put it. I’d come home to find her at computer, or napping, or reading, and though happy, we would feel this emptiness lingering. On the days that i was home and she went out to work, i couldn’t help but feel that something was missing from our household.
And then it hit me: we needed a child. We were a damn good couple and we were ready for the next ‘natural step’ in our lives.
I broached the topic with her and she took it up surprisingly quickly. Apparently she had been toying with the idea as well but didn’t really know if it was just a mood or a legit thing. After a bit of thinking and forecasting how life would be with a baby around, we decided once and for all that we would indeed try for a child.
And less than a year later she was brought to this world. I’ll tell you the truth, the moment i first saw her i couldn’t help but recoil a little at how ugly she looked, but they cleaned her up and there she was… my adorable little girl.
The first few days were exciting: everything was new to her and us, and we didn’t mind the sudden and extreme disruption in our schedule. One moment i thought she looked more like me, and then awhile later i was sure she took after her mom more.
In about two weeks the reality of having a child began to sink in, and it was not fun. Her constant crying, the lack of sleep, and how alarmingly quickly the novelty of having a newborn wore off… it started to take a toll on me.
I found myself dreading going to bed because i knew i’d have to wake up again not long after. No more impromptu dates as either one of us would be too tired. I hated it. Most of all, i hated that i hated it. I wasn’t prepared for it and i beat myself up over it.
Why didn’t we just get a dog or a cat instead?
And then one day, when my wife took the day off to go for a short spa retreat with her close friends, i was alone with the child. At first she slept quietly, but then the crying began.
It would not cease. Whatever i did, it never stopped. It kept crying. IT was inconsolable and starting to frustrate me greatly.
I picked IT up and cradled it, shushing and singing and rocking gently. No use.
So i did the only thing that came to my mind: i hugged IT close to me, tightly, its face pressed into my chest, till slowly but surely, it stopped moving. I kept hugging. I didn’t want to let go till i was sure.
I stood that way for about a half hour, then put it down in the crib and went to take a nap.
I had given us a chance to take a step back and try something else instead. A cat, probably.
And if that didn’t work, we’d just make another.
For the first time in a long while, i slept like a baby.