Who am I? A question I’ve asked myself countless times since giving birth. A question I never bothered myself with before, because I already knew. I could feel her. That woman I once knew. I knew what she wanted, and I got it. I knew what actions she wanted to take, and I did them. I knew who she wanted to be, how she wanted to be, and without a second thought, I persevered.
It’s maddening, some days, to only have an hour or two a day completely to myself. What’s even more so, is realizing I have even less time with you, husband.
You come home after being at work for ten hours, to your new baby’s grumpiest time of the day. And after you’ve entertained her while I’m in the shower, and after we’ve put her lotion on, sang her the bedtime song, and put her jammies on, followed by the sleep suit (the whole time, her, in baby hysterics or on the verge of them), after all of that. After she’s in her crib, happy and fed. We sit. My head on your shoulder and a game console in your hands. We play for thirty minutes to an hour, however much time we have, before you need to shower too, and we go to bed. Once we’re finally in bed we talk.
Different from the joking that goes on downstairs when we play our game. Different from what we used to do in bed before we had a baby… Things are serious now. We have to strategize our life. We actually have to work to “catch up” with each other. And then almost as soon as it begins, as soon as I feel like maybe I’m getting to know you again, and know myself, you let me know it’s time to go to sleep. You have another early day tomorrow. We both do. You’re so good at keeping us on our new, and needed, schedule. So, we turn off the lights and I lie awake with another question burning inside my mind even brighter than the first.
Who are we?
We’re not the two kids in high school crushing hard on each other anymore. Nor are we the (very) young adults, giddy and on their honeymoon together. Bright eyed, with the world at their feet, and an international move ahead of them.
We’re not the bachelor couple anymore. The people who purposely chose to move to Japan (the first time) and not own pets, and definitely not have a baby, just so they could take complete and unbridled freedom to travel the world. We’re not even the couple who chose to live in Japan again for the second time.
We’re exhausted, I can see it in your kind and familiar eyes. I recognize that feeling. This past year has been our hardest and we’re ready for a break.
So, we’re planning, we’re saving, and scraping, and dreaming about this next chapter of our lives. We’re so driven, you and I. It’s always been one thing after the other, never a pause, never a resting breath.
But I wonder, what if we took this in between time to work on what’s between us. Between the shy glances, the bold smiles, and the people whose souls are almost unrecognizable from one year ago. Let’s not hurry this time. Let’s not rush. Let’s hold each other, our daughter, and the fleeting seconds of these last few months close. Let’s take the blessing of this time spent waiting, this precious slowness, and get to know us again.