Where is everybody?

This past weekend, Brian and I babysat our 7-week old niece overnight for the first time.

Baby in a little bassinet

Of course, we planned for reinforcements because we’re not crazy, especially since Brian has never been responsible for a child, ever. And it’s been a long time since I’ve even watched a baby.

I invited my cousin and her 3 kiddos (you’ve met them all before in the ridiculously adorable photos of my wedding party and the letter I wrote to my godson, which feels like a lifetime ago) to come play with us. It wasn’t a hard sell because we’re all in love with the little nugget, especially A and Sassafras.

Two older cousins holding their baby cousin

So they came over and hung out, fighting over who got to hold her. Everyone got a turn at least once.

Child holding her infant cousin

When the Little Guy, my ring bearer, walked in, he asked, “Where is everybody? Are they outside? Why’s everybody outside?”

He’s so used to coming to parties at our house that he wasn’t sure how to handle just the 7 of us, as if that were a small number. He kept looking for his grandparents and my parents and other kids, asking when everybody else was coming. Sorry kid, it’s just us.

Preteen staring adoringly at his infant cousin

We played and snuggled the baby. My cousin taught Brian how to change a diaper. We watched some toons and ate pizza. We even let the Little Guy hold her for like a minute.

Toddler holding his baby cousin

And then our reinforcements left. And for us, it was kind of like, “Where is everybody?” Because we were it.

Baby laying in her uncle's lap

She’s already a yoga baby. Brian didn’t think she looked comfortable, but I thought she seemed cozy enough to stretch out. Her mom said it was fine. We texted.

We were on our own for the night shift. Here are a few things we learned about babies from our one-time stint:

They are adorable. Every goofy almost smile. Every tiny hand grasp. Every snippet of tongue she sticks out at you. Totally precious.

They are sassy AF. Apparently, this one only likes to poop in a clean diaper. So you change her diaper, and boom. She’s messed that shit up good. Literally.

They are terrifying. Both Brian and I checked on her several times to make sure she was breathing. Because apparently that’s a thing you do when there’s an infant asleep in your house.

They are keeping Google in business. I can’t tell you how many times I googled if something was normal or how to do something. Where the fuck was Google when I was babysitting in high school?

They are exhausting. Even though she’s just a baby. And even though she only woke up once in the middle of the night and then again early in the morning, we were absolutely beat to hell the next day.

They are loved. Man, if you could see the three children fighting over her, you wouldn’t believe it. It was almost as bad as their mom and I fighting over the last hunk of cheese. And you KNOW that’s serious business.

Sleeping baby face

Tell me friends, what do you know about babies? Now that my brother has a child who he and his lady entrust with me, I need to know everything. 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Real Talk About Babies

So, now that we’re married, Brian and I have been having the baby conversation. You know, because we’re not spring chickens or anything. Note, before we get things going here: I AM NOT PREGNANT. Okay good. Glad we got that out of the way.

Our youngest wedding guest

This was our youngest wedding guest. I’m just smitten with the little boy I call Cap’t.

The conversation has kinda gone something like this.

Me: Brian, I want a little girl. If I don’t get a little girl, it’s all. your. fault.

Brian:  Oh really?

Me: Yep.

Brian: I see.

And, sometimes, it goes like this:

Me: Do you want a girl or a boy?

Brian: It’s probably cliche, but I don’t really care, you know, if it’s healthy. Some people really want, like, a mini me.

Me: …

Brian: You know like a miniature version  of themself…

Me: …

Me: starts nodding enthusiastically

Brian: I take it that’s what you want?

Me: Don’t YOU want a Mini-Me? Not like a Mini-You…a Mini-Me. A Mini-Chrissy. Can’t you just imagine living with two of us!?

Brian:…

And SOMETIMES, it goes like this:

Me: I want all the babies!!

Brian: Oh yeah?

Me: Yep. I want a Mini-Me and a little boy who loves me forever. And what if our first little girl is nothing like me? We’d obviously have to try again. You know, until we get it just right.

Brian:…

And then there are the times it goes like this:

Me: Brian, will you still love me if I get pregnant and am totally crazy?

In other news, I think he’s warming  up to the idea of us getting a dog.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

The Rock

This is a continuation of a fiction story. You can find the first parts here:

Broken

The Failure

The Letters

Those eyes. Those chocolate brown eyes. With gold flecks. And lashes that went on for days. He couldn’t help but think about those eyes seeing through him. Do they know? Can she read me like an open book? Does she know that I am not strong? What would she do if she knew. If those eyes could speak. The volumes they could write. She smiled at him. Her eyes lit up more brightly than the Florida sun. He didn’t think that her eyes could look any brighter…until he saw her smile. Her full, naturally pink lips extended from one blushing cheek to the next,  with a dimple on the left side (but somehow not the right). God, she’s beautiful.

“I love you.” The words came out as a whisper that hit him like a ton of bricks. He thought he was smiling, but he couldn’t be sure. His breath quickened. Did she just…does she expect me…? What do I do? Seconds seemed like hours. He almost said nothing…he wanted to say nothing. She didn’t look at him expectantly. She looked away, embarrassed, her cheeks emblazoned with bright red clouds. She hadn’t expected to say the words. He worried for her. But he wasn’t…he didn’t…know.

“I don’t know what love is.” Crap! That is the last thing I should have said to her. What the fuck was I thinking.He envisioned her walking away, out of his life forever.What the hell, Jack? Are you a moron? This girl just fucking said she loved you. This beautiful woman, who you’ve fooled into loving you…and you don’t know what love is? Jack chided himself for his error. In his effort to say something, it seemed he always said the wrong something.

She looked at him with sadness in her eyes, touched his cheek,  and responded, “Yes, you do. When you’re ready, you’ll tell me. I don’t expect you to say it. I don’twant you to say it now. If you said it now, the meaning would be lost. When you’re ready, you’ll know.” She pulled him into her, kissing him gently. He wrapped his arms around her and it was at that moment that he knew he loved Claire, but couldn’t say it. Not yet.


“Claire, I love you so much. Will you marry me?” It wasn’t an elaborate proposal by any stretch of the imagination. He didn’t take her on some fancy trip, or make some huge crazy gesture. It wasn’t one of those obnoxious public proposals that Claire silently judged people for. It was perfect. They were at home. Just the two of them. He didn’t even have a ring. He just did it. And she said yes. Of course, she said yes.

Claire started crying, and Jack wondered if it wasn’t the typical sort of engagement crying. It’s because I don’t have a ring. And I didn’t do anything particularly special. It just…came out…I’m so stupid! What was I thinking? I wasn’t thinking. That’s the trouble with you, Jackie, you don’t think. Claire deserves more than that. More than you.

“Claire, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to make you cry.”

“You sob didn’t.” She stared down, breathing heavily between sobs. The tears slid down her cheek, dripped onto her tee shirt, and left small wet splotches on the gray material.

“What’s wrong? Is it because of the ring?”

“Jack…sob I have to tell…you…something…” She looked so ashamed, her cheeks redder than he had ever seen. When she cried, his world stopped. He wanted to make everything better for her. What could she be so embarrassed about? We’ve been together for so long. We live together. What could be so bad? Jack pulled her into his arms, petting her hair. He hushed her with soothing sounds until she pulled away.

“I…oh, Jack…” Claire was clearly distraught. Jack wanted so much to make it better.

“Claire, it will be okay. Whatever it is. I’m here. We’re in this together. Is this about getting married? Do you want to get married?”

“More than anything. This…isn’t about sob getting married…I… I always dreamed… sob I always thought about marriage…and babies…and I want sob them with…you…Jack…I never…told you…” Jack’s mind began delving into worst possible scenarios. She’s pregnant. She’s sick. She’s dying. She’s got cancer…She’s got a secret child somewhere…

Claire could sense his panic, which only made her sobs louder and her words fewer and farther in between.  “Claire, whatever it is, we will get through this.”

She mustered all of the strength that she could to tell him. Her dark little secret. The one she’s always been so terrified to reveal.

“Jack, I will never be able to have babies. I’m an empty shell.” Afterwards she became inconsolable. Her tears swallowed her tee shirt whole. Jack held her for hours. He rocked her. He told her it would be okay. He was…surprised at his strength. This was the only time that Claire ever broke down as hard as she did. While she was usually HIS rock; today he could be hers. And he was.


This fiction series is inspired by the prompts created by Molly of Grass Oil. You can read the next part here:

Wandering Thoughts

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!