I went to a friend’s baby shower, carrying my son, face out and kangaroo-like inside his sling. His legs were crossed like a yogi as he smiled and cooed and showed off his determination to hold up his head on his own at two and a half months old. By the end of the party, he began to get fussy, I believe because he was getting tired but didn’t want to give up getting all of that kind attention. Few people are as loving with babies as people who expecting their first, or parents of older kids who miss their own children being small enough to hold in their arms. And nothing pleases Declan more than interacting with people who are pleased to see him, not unlike me or his dad.
Once I got him into the car, he was resting so peacefully that I didn’t want to go straight home. Instead, I drove by my childhood house, which is still the approximate tan color that my high school boyfriend painted it about 18 years ago. The stacked stone pillars on the front porch are still in tact, but now there is a fancy looking swing set out back, a new screened-in porch on the side and the gravel driveway has been replaced with cement.
When my mother, brother and I moved into the place in 1980, it was sunny yellow with white trim. My room was also sunny yellow with white trim, which I hated. I’d have preferred any shade of purple, a mellow green, or a calming blue, but divorce and the move from the east coast made money tight.
Besides, the couple that sold us the house had just painted the room in preparation for a new baby. But when the baby died, they decided to leave the house in a hurry. I never found out if the woman miscarried, if there was a problem in the hospital or if the baby died in my room, but I spent years covering those walls with posters and magazine clippings. I still can’t say that I’m fond of yellow.