Sunday, April 6, 2008
A big, short stroll
The sun shone for the first time in eons. The same streets that were so humdrum for months suddenly seemed charming. The mercury kissed 61. What better day to debut the Chicco Cortina Travel System?
That's right. It's not a stroller. It's a "travel system" with four cup holders for the parental units and infants, all-wheel suspension and something called a 5-point harness. The cruise control and heated seats were optional.
We waited for this day since Hope's birth. Pushing your kid down the street in a "travel system" is one of those mundane activities that seem so profound when you have to wait -- and work -- for months to get there.
First, Hopesy was too small. Then, winter descended and our doctor-ordered hibernation during cold and flu season began.
This was huge. One small stroll for Pippi. One giant leap for normalcy.
I kicked the tires and checked the manual for 20 minutes. Mo fussed with blankets before finding exactly the right one for the 15-minute journey. We made it to the end of the driveway before acknowledging the obvious.
"Why are we so nervous?" I asked.
"We just need to live our lives," Mo said.
That's been her mantra for weeks. It's one thing to vow to give your daughter a normal life when it's an abstraction because you can't go anywhere. It's another to actually do so when you can.
Our worries were unspoken: What if we were 10 minutes from home and Hope melted down? What if we hit a bump? What if Lulu went bananas? What if some hillbilly busybody sees our 5-month-old, 6 1/2 pound girl, gets the wrong idea and phones Child Protective Services?
We walked one block, gingerly traversing each sidewalk crack. We walked another block. Then another.
Hope was so concerned she fell asleep.
Like a lot with Pip -- or life, I suppose -- the first time is always the most nerve-wracking, and big fears that can paralyze rarely materialize.
We took the long way home.