I think I saw us today—three women crossed the footbridge to Good Harbor Beach, two dark-haired and one red-head, and two of them wore baby front-packs, while a third pushed a sleeping child in a jogging stroller. The sand had washed out from the ramp, so all three moms stopped to engineer the careful drop of the stroller to the beach.
“She’s not turning over as well as she should,” said the red-haired mom. “I’m concerned that she’s not where she should be, developmentally.” I looked at the infant sleeping in her front carrier, who seemed like any other baby girl.
“Have you spoken with your pediatrician?” the stroller mom asked, focusing hard on her task and on the question.
The third mom frowned in concentration. “Are you sure? There’s such a wide range of normal, you know.”
Turning over! Remember when the big worry was the baby turning over? I know it was all-consuming, and I know we were all so sleep-deprived and exhausted from nursing, but doesn’t it now seem dreamy to be worried of when a baby turns over? She’s not mean to her classmates, she doesn’t claim to hate math, she does not battle over what she will not eat for breakfast. You don’t need to demand that she brush her hair.
I almost said hello to them, needing to pass along the same footbridge they were maneuvering, then I realized they didn’t see me at all, as if they were blind to anyone without a newborn attached. I smiled to myself, instead. I was passing us, after all, or our trio of doppelgangers, ten years younger. So earnest—so absorbed. As I’m sure we were.
I miss you, Katherine and Diana. Congratulations on our children’s tenth year. I’ll be thinking of those two New Year’s parties, the night before at Katherine’s place overlooking The Headlands, and the day after potlucking at Martha’s house: the line of three infant carriers, and Brent turning green over Maxine’s diaper. There’s a lot NOT to miss about those days—but there is also a lot to miss. I’m glad we’re all off to other adventures but I want to pause a moment to honor us, as we were.