Long summer days, the short northern nights made shorter still by interrupted sleep. The days run together, exhaustion and enjoyment converge, and the calendar grows increasingly more meaningless with each passing (or perhaps passed over) sleep cycle. Vacation at its best? Parenthood at its most painful?
Time rolls on inexorably, the monotonousness of our newborn’s life interrupted and demarcated by doctors’ appointments, her older sibling’s swim lessons (going anything but swimmingly), D’s concerts, and our out-of-town visitors. The colleague who stayed in our house in Kigali, filling in during the summer transition on a month-long detail, has returned to Washington. And this means that it will soon be time for D to return to Kigali as well, leaving S and the kids behind for another month – an unappealing thought if there ever was one.
D has tried to beat it back to the best of his ability, but it keeps poking at his happiness, refusing to stay hidden in the dark corner of the subconscious to which D had consigned it. All it takes is a glance at the shrinking list of remaining concerts for which D had purchased tickets or a chance conversation between S and her mom about their post-Portland plans after D returns to Rwanda, and the realization creeps in that no matter how much time one has at one’s disposal, it always seems too short when it nears its end.
Junebug, meanwhile, is coming up on the two-week anniversary of her birth. The changes are imperceptible day-to-day, but she is clearly changing right before our eyes. She is much more alert than when we brought her from the hospital a week ago, her grasping fingers more purposeful and her eyes more attentive. For one reason or another, we haven’t done as much tummy time with her as we had with Munchkin right after he was born, but her head control seems better than his was at this age.
As for Munchkin, he continues to subject us to his Jekyll & Hyde routine, playing sweetly one moment only to throw an unexpected tantrum the next. Following last week’s Bath Heritage Days festival, which was held on the waterfront, Munchkin has taken to demanding a motorboat ride on a daily basis. Yet, when we took him on a boat – the Peaks Island ferry, which was admittedly considerably slower than a motorboat – he threw a tantrum and demanded to be taken home.
He eventually calmed down and we managed to have an enjoyable time with our visiting friends on this quintessentially cute Maine island town. This time it was D’s turn to sample the emotions S had experienced when her longtime childhood friend visited in May. D had been in the United States for only two years when this friendship was born and subsequently cemented in the tumultuous cauldron of junior high school and high school in two different boroughs of New York City. What a joy to watch our kids interact and play together, potentially carrying the friendship into the next generation!