Oh this baby, getting shunted all across the province, sleeping in cars and ferries, nestling into strange beds, opening her eyes wide at each new sight.
Yesterday we came for a quick visit with my mom, and to see two of my sisters, one of whom is leaving to Nepal in a few days. We ate frozen yogurt and drove around, we went out for dinner. Olive has seen more than her fair share of restaurants since being born, with friends birthdays and special occasions, as well as the week before we moved where we dined out at least once a day because all of our dishes were layered in newspaper and hiding in boxes.
She has always been an incredible restaurant baby, calm and content to look around at the other diners, charming servers left and right. When she was younger all of the white noise would put her to sleep, but these days she doesn’t want to miss a thing. She wants to stand in your lap, her little head swivelling this way and that like a periscope. And last night as I sat her on my lap I found myself having to run interference as her little hands darted towards the straw of my drink, the tortilla chips, a napkin. Grabbing a handful of hair, a necklace, the (thankfully fake) candle at our table.
When did my little lump become this interactive person? When did my infant become a full-fledged baby that can sit by herself in a high chair?
Over the weekend Adam’s family threw a “Welcome to town” party for us, which, if we’re honest, was probably more of a “Welcome Olive” party. I mean Adam’s family is pretty fond of us but we’re under no illusions as to who the real attraction is…I’m pretty sure Adam and I could leave a fridge full of milk and some dog food and they’d be happy with Olive and Gus, the stars of the show (and really, I can’t blame them. Have you seen this kids cheeks? And that dog’s adorable furrowed brow?)
My neice and nephews made signs for her, with drawings and sweet messages that made your heart ache (“We love you Olive!”) and there were party hats and swirly straws, and the appetizers were olives, of course!
We felt so very welcomed and loved. Someone left a comment here the other day (oh, I love it when you guys do that) and they said, “Wow, you have amazing in-laws”. Yes. Yes I do.
Adam and I both won the lottery in terms of the family we ended up with in this whole marriage business. It’s become even more apparent since little O arrived on the scene and has been welcomed with hugs and kisses, moccasins and bird mobiles. She is so very, very lucky.
Last night I went to sleep embarassingly early with one of the migraines that have been chasing me recently. I lay in bed at my mom’s floating house, listening to Adam and my sister Hilary and two of her friends. They had Olive on a blanket in the living room floor and were marvelling over her silky palms and feet like chubby little buns.
They dressed her in my sisters feather headdress, put rings on her fingers and hats on her head. I listened as Adam spoke withy pride about her accomplishments, as only a proud Papa can, I listened to them blow raspberries on her soft belly and laugh as they tried to extricate their hair from her strong fists.
I listened through the thrum of my headache, and I felt so lucky; And sometimes I feel a slow, choking sort of dread overtake me because l fear that all of this will be taken from me. It’s just too perfect, how do I possibly deserve it? What have I done to deserve it? And I lay there listening and thinking to myself over and over again, “Please don’t take it away. Please don’t take it away.”