I think back to those dark days of last December, sleepless and harrowed, wandering the streets near on midnight looking for the late-night supermarket in the snowy mystery. One foot in front of the other, one diaper change to the next.
Those early days, you were losing more weight than you should have. Just by a little, just enough to scare us. We supplemented and regulated, stepped up the frequency of your feedings, every three hours, no matter what. It really felt, and I supposed it was, that all we had to do was keep you alive. It was easy to forget about ourselves. But when we remembered, we were famished.
I went out into the night, I didn't remember the last time I'd been out, I didn't know what day it was. It was dark, but it had been snowing so the ground reflected the light from the standards above. Everything was new, built in anticipation of the Canada Line, it was like walking through a window display.
I got to the store just as they were starting to close up. I wandered the aisles in a hurried fog, not wanting to be last out, but without much idea of what I should be buying. By the time I made it to the cashier, my basket was full of random frozen meals, unripe fruit and a salad mix. I had no business buying groceries in my state of mind, but what else could I do?
I got home, put a frozen lasagna in the oven, and hoped it would be ready before your next meal.
A week or so later, the danger had passed, but no one was getting much sleep, no one had recoverd. We took you out to our neighbourhood coffee shop. I wore the same green corduroy Snuggli my parents had carried me in, 31 years earlier. You were so calm and quiet, I was afraid I'd smothered you. You were so fragile. I took nothing for granted.
Yesterday, we took you out for brunch, you walked part way. You ate a pancake and some fruit. You raised a ruckus and laughed, laughed, laughed. I laughed too.
mp3: "Daddy Loves Baby" by Don Covay