You’ve heard about it. You’ve talked about it. The one you want: Coming Home
I thought about paying some clowns and hobos to populate a theater and inviting everyone out so it seemed like a grand affair, but the numbers didn’t allow for it. I once participated in the writing of a scene about a clown, hobo, bartender and postal worker involved in an hilarious accidental death. It turned into a PSA about the horrors of wantonly discarded banana peels. I mention this for no particular reason, other than that first sentence charged a few neurons in my brain that brought back a nice memory. I’ve got a soft spot for clowns and hobos. I’ll not apologize for it. Instead, you get this post. It’s nice, but I’d pass and wait to see the other grand prize package.
Anyways, I did think about what ought to be said on such a momentous occassion. Bringing Claire to the Royal Cottage for the first time was an enormous day in all our lives, shared with family on both sides. But, honestly, our happiest memory was that night when Claire slept peacefully all night allowing all of us an opportunity to sleep. There are, however, a couple moments worth sharing.
I headed over to the hospital in the AM to meet my parents, Danielle and the baby to prepare for check out. It was something like a hundred degrees with hundred percent humidity. Everyone was more or less ready to leave when I arrived. One of the things they don’t teach you in baby class is how to work a car seat. There are inserts and buckles and straps and clips. Neither of us really knew what we were doing. The awkward moment came when we actually had to pass an inspection of the baby’s safe status in the car seat before the hospital would let us leave. We failed, initially, and were properly instructed. And so we thwarted catastrophe. I wasn’t kidding when I said we were thrilled to make seven days accident free.
Once home (did I mention we live in a fourth floor walk up?) we had to get everyone upstairs. No one was happy that it was a hundred degrees out. Particularly Danielle. On account of having just had a baby, the stairs were daunting. Up safely, we had to introduce the baby to the dogs, and reintroduce my parents and Danielle. The dogs, having been largely alone for a week, acted like tweakers with a ten spot seeing their dealer for the first time in a week. It was interesting, as the Chinese like to say. The dogs finally calmed down this last Thursday.
My parents helped us get settled in, played with the baby for a bit, manhandled the dogs and, most importantly, provided some home cooked food for the next couple days. They left, and Danielle’s mother and sister arrived. It was a very busy day. Danielle’s mom set about making dinner for everyone while Michelle played with the baby. There may have been some monopolizing of the baby’s time. But, that’s what aunt’s are for: spoiling the baby. Did I mention Danielle’s mom cooked some delicious dinner?
We also had the first Skype customer. Michelle and the baby spent most of an hour chatting on the Skype with Pam. It went pretty well. Our dogs also chatted with Pam’s dogs. The internets have changed everything. Pets corresponding across state lines through the speaking and looking tubes of the internets. Whoulda thought?
After dinner it was just Danielle, Claire and myself. Our first moment as a family in our house. Which was terrifying. I mean, whose idea was it to put me in charge of another human’s life? I remember the first night in the hospital after Claire was born. I was wheeling her cart to the nursery and she started to spit up. Lying on her back, she also started to choke. My first instinct was something like, geewillickers, that baby needs help. A quarter second later, it occurred to me that I was not just the nearest legal guardian of this child, I was Lord Protecter. I never had doubts about being a father. In fact, I was excited by the idea and continue to be a thrilled and proud parent of a baby who prefers watching shadows on the wall almost as much as she prefers looking at her dad.
But, that moment in the hall was an entry into an entirely new universe. A universe based solely upon the founding principle that I am now the lone member of the Princess’ Royal Guard and anyone and everything is suspect. Lord Protecter, Constable-Sergeant or Captain of the Guard. However you want to call it. I haven’t quite figured out who is Richlieu yet. Nor have I yet cast an Athos, Porthos or Aramis. It’s a good job, if occassionally nervewracking. But, it’s got a great benefits package.
That said, here’s some pictures. Which are more interesting than my nonsense. The whole set is down at the bottom of the page scrolling, at the moment.