This morning, I drove through blowing snow, over winding country roads, past brown fields dusted white, to the little house hidden on a dirt road where Anne will be spending her days.
D. is both a grandmotherly type and a grandmother. She has eight kids, twenty-eight grandchildren, and nearly as many great-grandchildren. She has white hair and a sweet face, and she loves to knit ... or crochet. (I never could remember the difference between the two, as both seem equally unappealing to me.) She has birds in a cage and a tiny dog (not in a cage), and she loves to clean house. She loves all things baby--holding babies, playing with babies, talking to babies--and has loved babysitting all her life.
In other words, she is nothing like me. :) Anyway ...
The cold was biting this morning, and as I drove to D.'s, I wondered if I should have checked the weather first. I had no clue whether the snow would get worse, or if it would even get above freezing today. (The snow is supposed to taper off. The high today is supposed to be 28.) Anne slept in her car seat, all bundled up in her warm hat and blanket, peacefully oblivious to the cold, or to her mommy's concerns about the day.
It's so weird to think of myself as "Mommy" to anything other than cats. It's really, really weird.
I was right on time. If I get to D.'s house at 8:00, I have time to nurse Anne, cuddle with her a little bit, and shoot the breeze with D. for a few minutes before heading in to work. I yawned. I'd been up for several hours already. Anne goes to sleep around 11:00 each night (last night, it was 11:20) and wakes up around 5:00 each morning (this morning it was 4:45). She'd taken a short nap around 7 a.m., allowing me to sit in my rocker and write a bit before putting her in the car seat and hitting the road. My writing was barely legible and consisted of bulleted points and incomplete sentences, mostly on today's schedule, Anne's lovable-ness, what I would have for dinner, and such. Nothing requiring much thought.
"This is my life," I thought to myself as I neared D.'s house. It still feels strange to realize that my life has changed forever, that I've taken a drastic turn on life's highway that I'd never imagined taking. It feels strange to realize that, no, this isn't a dream. It feels strange, but not bad-strange. Just strange.
Other features of this new life: Using my work breaks to pump milk. Racing to D.'s during my lunch hour to nurse Anne. Leaving work at a specified time, rather than just working until "just whenever." Somehow managing to squeeze in a million activities (dinner, laundry, piano, running, preparing bottles, spending time with Hubster, bathing Anne, getting my own shower, etc.) between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Here's a big one: Forgetting that Jack Bauer is on TV because Anne is batting at the toys dangling from her bouncy seat. Yes, it happened.
I'm really liking this life so far, strange as it feels. I'm feeling really thankful for D., and for the fact that she's going to love and spoil Anne every day while I'm at work. Come to think of it, she's a big reason I'm able to love my life so much right now.
Wow. That just hit me in a big "This woman is a gift from God" way.
9:00. Time to punch in and get some work done. Life is good.