A moment. A brief instance in time. Our days are full of them. One following immediately after the other. Most of them pass without any notice. But some. Some insist we take note. They whisper to us. They shout. They insist they are something bigger, something magic, something larger than ourselves, larger than time. If our relationship were mapped on a clock, these would be those moments.
2:17 AM: The room is dimly lit. The rhythm of her heart over the monitor fills the silence. I look down. My doula is dozing at my left and my husband is dozing at my right, both ready to help me through the next contraction. I doze off in the peaceful moment of the night.
3:00 AM: Her hand is warmly resting on my chest. She’s asleep, but eating. He sleeps peacefully down the hall. The soft moonlight from the full moon casts a blue hue in her room. I recognize that it’s brighter than it was a week ago and know it will be dimmer in another week. The world is right.
5:48 AM: Standing together in the bathroom in the early morning. I turn to him and say, “Hi Daddy.” Are we ready to do this again?
6:00 AM: Waking up cold together in a tent. I’d meant to help re-inflate his air mattress in the middle of the night but forgot to close the valve. He doesn’t complain too loudly.
6:18 AM: I want to surprise him with it later. He isn’t supposed to know what I am doing. Yet he senses something is different when I get up. And there is no denying my smile as I leave the bathroom and crawl back into bed. Our daughter is going to be a big sister.
6:48 AM: Standing together in the bathroom in the early morning. “How many lines do you see?” We’re finally pregnant!
7:04 AM: Thirty plus years ago my dad pushed me in a stroller across several finish lines. Seventeen years ago he and I ran across this same finish line at the end of my first marathon. Now I’m pushing my daughter in a stroller as we cross the finish line together at the end of a 10K. I feel the generations connect.
9:49 AM: “One more push and she’s here.”
10:57 AM: She reaches up and touches his nose. “Honk.” Her first laugh. Little bits of magic are released into the world.
11:37 AM: “I hereby bestow upon you all the rights, privileges, and honors appertaining to your doctorate degree.”
12:05 PM: He comes home from work at lunch to make me a lopsided birthday cake. The lopsided is purely unintentional.
1:30 PM: We’re married. It’s just the two of us, alone after the ceremony, drinking it all in.
5:00 PM: Perhaps he shouldn’t be surprised to come home and find me standing in the backyard with a make-shift obelisk if he was joking about wanting one in the backyard earlier in the day on Facebook. That face is priceless.
6:17 PM: My cell phone rings. She looks up, recognizing the ring tone. “Hi Daddy!” We get shoes and go outside to wait. Daddy is coming home.
7:13 PM: He holds me in his arms as we stand under the patio and watch the monsoon storm thunder past. The clouds leave a perfect sunset and the world turns orange.
8:27 PM: “I love you,” he says for the first time. A minute later I finally reply “Really?”
9:43 PM: Standing together in the living room. Sobbing into his shoulder as he sobs into mine. Our son is gone. But he left us hope. I got pregnant once. It can happen again.
10:45 PM: The exact moment of the June Solstice. He tells me I am the light of his life and asks me to be his wife. I say yes.