I have never been so excited for summer in my life. For the past ten years, I’ve worked summer school EVERY summer except the last two. Two years ago, I MADE a baby in the summer, and last summer I had a newborn.
Last summer was hard. Odie and I were adjusting to being parents. It wasn’t so long ago that we were newlyweds. Pregnancy and parenthood changes a marriage. Not surprisingly to me now, it often destroys a marriage. It tested ours. Last summer was more full of tension and fighting and tears than it was of joy. I’m not slamming Odie here. He did the best he could, and I did the best I could. I was hormonal and fat and terrified of the responsibility I’d taken on by having a child. He was making the adjustment to father and sole provider while still trying to be somewhat young and have a good time with his friends.
My dad told me recently that fatherhood is nothing like motherhood. That dads don’t go through it the way moms do and they NEVER will. I know Odie loves Baby V more than he’s ever loved anyone or anything, including being young and free. Including me. But I also know that the love was not an all-consuming, full-body CONNECTION of the soul like it was for me. I fell in love with my child in an almost romantic way. The love was instant for him too, but it was easier for him to walk out the door and go back to the person he was before. The person I was before died in the delivery room and I was reborn someone else. I think Odie felt the weight of responsibility in a different way. And it didn’t always feel like a blessing to him. He needed to get out and away from us sometimes, and back then I didn’t understand that and so we fought.
But it’s a year later and everything is different now. Baby V isn’t a helpless little larva-like being anymore. She’s a full fledged little human with giggles and teeth and little curls. She looks adoringly at her daddy while he reads to her. She loves the swings at the park.
I can’t wait for this summer because Odie will be home from work and we get to play with our daughter. We have 10 whole weeks to enjoy everything Southern California has to offer: beach, mountains, desert (and the over 100 degree heat of our own, non-air-conditioned house). We get to BOND.