Every year I wait for the day when the leaves pop open, and every year I miss it. I know when it’s coming because I can see the tiny buds up high on the poplars. I vow to look every day for the magic morning when everything bursts alive and this year I missed it again.
Not that we haven’t been busy. I started a full time job last month and although I love it I am completely overwhelmed. The notion of getting up every day to shower and drive to work is still foreign to me and some nights I sit on the couch in disbelief that I have to get up the next day and do it again. Livvy is doing okay with the switch, my mom is watching her during the day and so she is completely spoiled in a good way.
A stray cat adopted us over the winter and although we can’t let her in (thanks to our two indoor cats) she is very faithful to us. So faithful, in fact, that three weeks ago she gave birth to a litter of kittens in the brush pile in the woods in front of our house. The next afternoon it rained so hard that I could barely hear Livvy’s squeals as Bitty (the cat) ran up to our porch with a drenched kitten in her mouth.
At a loss of what to do I pulled baggies onto my hands and ran into the woods like a crazy person to retrieve the rest of the brood. That’s how we ended up with five babies on our front porch. According to Jamie, the first thing Olivia does every morning is run out to see the kittens–they are, by far, the most loved litter of kittens in the county.
And so, amid the loss of my stay-at-home days is this new life unfolding every day. Last week Livvy crawled into bed with me early on a Sunday and whispered, “I can’t stop thinking about the kittens.” I wrapped my arm around her belly and breathed her in–the mornings I used to take for granted are becoming rare treats. Just when I started to get teary, she put her face next to my ear and said, “I grow softly, mama, like a kitten,” and then she fell asleep.
There was a day, about a year after Jamie and I married, that I realized that even if I live until 100 it will not be long enough to love him. That morning in bed with Olivia I realized that even if she could remain a tot for 20 years, even if I never went to work, I will eventually long for those early morning cuddles. And no matter how closely I watch, she will grow so slowly it will suprise me regardless.