Posted by Duff

Last night, my household went to visit our neighbors. I’ll call them the Joneses.

We love the Joneses. The Joneses’ son and The Dervish are two-year old buddies, and as parents, we trade a lot of intel, pat each other on the back for having gotten as far as we have, and well, mutually confess our self-doubt to recieve support.

The Joneses just had their second child. And gave us a glimpse into two children, and a reminder of newborn.  And I left their house a little left of center.

As The Dervish gleefully flung water out of the bathtub and on to my jeans, my husband said wistfully, “Aren’t new babies great?”

Yes, new babies are great. They are lovely and precious miracles, no doubt. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about the new baby’s mother, and some of the things she said to me, through hormones, through postpartum healing, and a day of brand-new-wasn’t-there-yesterday fussiness. And I just wanted to hug her, and tell her it was going to be alright. That she would adjust. That her body would heal. That her hormones would regulate, after not too long a time.

But I appreciated her honesty, because no one had ever articulated “I feel a little like my organs might fall out of my body if I stand up,” to me before I’d experienced it. And I’d never heard a new mom snap at a new dad like I wasn’t supposed to, but did. Like you’d expect when one can’t be heard over crying that somehow can’t be stopped, and has to keep repeating herself.

This morning, when I woke up and looked out the window at their house, I wondered how the rest of the night went. I was happy that Mr. Jones will be home with Mrs. Jones for almost a month. So she probably won’t be ripping meat off a rotisserie chicken with one hand while carrying a baby in her other arm. At 4pm. For lunch.

Circumstances allow for her second experience to be much easier than most mothers’ firsts. I am relieved to think it.

When I get home, I’m going to see if Little Jones can come to play with The Dervish, so the Joneses can fan out and get a little space while they feel out their new surroundings.

And you can bet money that I’m going to listen to everything wise and honest and ugly that Mrs. Jones has to tell me about this transition. She’s in the trenches, willing to tell the truth. 

Sing it, Jonesy. I’m all ears.