‘My Laura Jane.
That you are my now and forever friend.
I had a dry season last year.
Twelve months of zero rain during wedding portraits. No kidding.
It rained during prep, first-looks, ceremonies, receiving lines and receptions, but somehow always held off when we needed it to. Yussss.
This day my luck finally ran out. Two minutes into portraits and bam down it came. In buckets. It rained out the ceremony too. Everything. As it’s happening, at that moment the three of you are standing there and the sky suddenly opens up and you’re forced to run for cover, you’re downplaying it on the outside, like you do with all the other minor technical difficulties that inevitably come up throughout the day. On the inside though, you’re always thinking the same thing.
Not oh shit because you can’t make due with portraits inside, just oh shit because you never know how brides and grooms will react to the rain.
I needn’t have worried. They couldn’t have cared less. We got a little wet and we made it work.
Scratch that. They made it work.
Just really genuine people, through and through. Another great day. Another great adventure.
Thanks for letting me in, friends.
‘We’re going for a drive.’
I hear that a lot these days. It’s code in our household for ‘I’ve had enough.’ The thing is our boy Finn, he hates taking naps. He loathes them. She’ll rock and pat and shush and swaddle and feed and burp and sing and sway and he’ll resist shutting his eyelids until the very last blink. The kid has a pretty defiant stubbornness about him, some might say he inherited that from his father. He will fight sleep to the death, each and every time.
The fact that someone can keep a human baby alive for this long is impressive enough, but how my wife is able to navigate this tireless new lifestyle with such grace is beyond me. I’m regularly in awe of how much she’s able to accomplish with such little sleep, such little freedom. Sometimes, when nothing else is working a drive on the highway is the only thing that’ll help him sleep soundly. There’s something about the sitting still but still moving that soothes him. Her too I think. It’s a break for both of them. A quiet moment of peace on the open road. A few exits worth of sanity.
It doesn’t always work mind you, but today it has. It’s a Christmas miracle.
I open the front door, the cold air whips in, and she tip-toes past me through the kitchen and into the living room, placing his car seat onto its stroller with surgeon-like precision. A quick check to make sure he’s still breathing and then we exhale. And hug. The animal intensity of the hug I choose to give generally depends on how bad a day it‘s been for her. Today it’s somewhere between a moose and a bear.
She’s utterly exhausted, I can tell. She may have been crying, I don’t ask. I know she feels deflated though. No words are exchanged, we don’t dare make a sound. We just nod to one another knowingly. He’s down, and that’s all that matters right now.
Finally some rest, I think. For him yeah, but mostly for her. She needs it, he still sleeps on her every night after all.
Her body slumps onto the coach and pulls into the fetal position in one fluid motion. Her eyes are already closed. Another Exhale. sleep. I quietly head back upstairs, grateful knowing she’ll likely get an hour or so of rest before he wakes up and needs her again. Today, like most days, she’s given him everything she‘s got. There’s nothing left in the tank.
Peace at last.
A few minutes later she appears upstairs. She’s leaning against the door frame looking at me, arms crossed. Still half asleep. Through her milk-stained shirt, ruffled hair and tired, glossy eyes, she smiles.
‘I miss him.’