The last week of May was a pretty darn good one around these parts. I placed a pair of short stories with magazines I'm thrilled to work with. I'll have updates and posts when the tales make it into print (and, in one case, onto a podcast platform), but it was a week of good news in terms of my short fiction.
I also learned that I was awarded continuing contract status at the college (our form of tenure, essentially). Heading into my fifth year at the school, I remain thankful for the opportunities I've been afforded and all of the great students who make heading into work each week a pleasure.
But the biggest deal happened last night. Lyla spent her first night in the nursery by herself. She handled it beautifully; I was a little bit of a wreck. We settled her down shortly after nine and gave her a half swaddle so she could suck her hand to put herself back down if she woke up.
And she slept like a log. I mean, it was amazing. She couldn't have been more quiet.
That, my friends, was the problem.
I lie there in bed, reading until midnight and straining to hear her not ten feet away in the next room. I guess I wanted to hear her fussing a little, just to make sure she was ok. I finally nodded off around 12:30, only to be startled awake at 3:30 by the siren wail of her request for a meal.
Man, we swung into action, happy to see that everything was fine next door. I changed the diaper, Jeanne served up the good stuff and we had her buttoned up and back to bed about thirty minutes later.
Only it was still too quiet. That 4:00 a.m. hour just isn't a nice time to be awake. I started to think about the shady figures of the early morning. I thought about their tools--the ones they use to invade nurseries--and their dark sacks they fill with innocent children. For some reason, these people never have faces when I think of them; the sneak from here to there on jaunty tiptoes, no doubt chuckling a low, rheumy cough beneath their breath.
Needless to say, we purchased a window sensor and a couple more locks today...
Jeanne slept. The cat snored in the corner. I stayed awake for a long time, worrying for no reason about the little lady in the room by herself.
And that little lady? Well, she got a lot of rest and had a great day. She kept us busy, and I think I'll certainly rest easier tonight.
It's a strange threshold to cross, that first night with your baby alone in the next room over. It's an important, necessary threshold, but that doesn't make it any easier...