Last weekend was perfect, or at least I told James that it was so at least 20 times.
What makes a perfect weekend?
Or at least, the absence of Something. It had been 9 weeks since we had a Saturday that was profoundly lazy, one without travel, stress, excitement, etc. The weekend before proved extra insane, as I went to Philadelphia for a conference, James drove to PA to (FINALLY!) pick up our car, Henry spent the day with friends, and then Sunday I drove back to dump a weekend’s worth of pumped milk in the freezer before we all headed off to the airport. We flew home to KY to celebrate my grandmother’s life and mourn her death, before turning around and flying back, collapsing in exhaustion from all the travel, stress, joy, sadness, planning, visiting, and frustration that the last two months have held.
But then this past weekend came. And it was empty. Glory.
Of course we filled it, but with the sorts of lazy activities that send reserves of rest rather than excitement into your spirits. We had friends over Friday night, the type of friends who schlep their baby along and can halfway doze off on your couch at the end of the evening and no one minds. On Saturday we had more friends over for brunch… which lasted 4 hours before anyone noticed the time. We were finally back in the pews of our church Sunday morning and my brother and his wife came over Sunday night to watch The Bachelor. And then James had Monday off so I went to Trader Joe’s by myself, a luxury second only to a solo excursion to Target. We had a fire going in the hearth all weekend, made dents in books and magazines, and caught up on some good TV. We went for walks around our neighborhood and lazed about in bookstores.
I only halfway remember those early months with Henry, but I do remember thinking that we would never get to eat a meal in peace again, never have naps that were dependable, never be well rested again, never be able to host friends without feeling utterly chaotic to the core. Obviously, life doesn’t go back to pre-baby normal. But this weekend I slept well. I was able to make brunch without feeling harried, and Henry went down for naps on time and with no fuss in the midst of our visitors. Life didn’t feel like it was spinning out of control. It was calm and happy and easy.
Dear Newborn-focused, exhausted, overwhelmed Hannah (who will no doubt reappear with any future kids): perfect weekends will come back. They will look different. They won’t be full of dinners out and activities around town. You won’t sleep till noon and you won’t stay up late. But they will be good, and full of warmth and joy and a whole new sort of perfection.