Our couch is a neutral tan/brown color. It has large seat cushions with huge throw pillows that constitute the back cushions. It’s a very cozy couch that can magically make you fall asleep within minutes of laying down on it. It’s about 8 years old, and is starting to show some wear. It has survived cat scratches, stranded sippy cups slowly leaking sour milk into it, three moves, and lately, it gets stripped of its cushions on a daily basis to become the stage for “The Carina and Callen Show”, a production that includes A LOT of jumping and bouncing.
This morning Callen woke up at 5:30, which he’s been doing a lot since we took away his pacifier. In an effort to keep him quiet so the rest of the family could continue to sleep I brought him out to the couch to snuggle. Burrowed between the throw pillows, I was aware of one of those fleeting moments: a silent, calm, stillness shared by mother and an otherwise highly active little boy. I tried desperately to memorize the smell of his hair, the curve of his cheek, and the coy little grin he gave me as he realized I was inspecting him. I thought back to the hours he and I spent together on this very couch before he was even born. It was the only place I could get comfortable enough to sleep through the night. Even then Callen was a very active fellow, somersaulting and ninja-kicking my pelvic bone to show his boredom in the wee hours.
I thought back further to the hours and hours I spent sitting on our couch, nursing Carina and reading, reading, reading. I didn’t know how good I had it. Carina could easily make a day out of getting her nutrients, and I remember sitting, and staring longingly into the kitchen, wishing I could go and do something productive, like cook dinner or wash the dishes. What was I thinking?! Going even further back I recalled more pregnant nights spent on the couch, waking up the morning of my due date to see Craig standing over me expectantly. “Where’s the baby?” he joked. Little did we know we’d be waiting five more long days.
Pre-kids, the couch was the place where we sat and visited with friends, where Craig and I cuddled and watched movies, and where both of us took what now seem like impossibly luxuriant hours-long afternoon naps.
It seems odd that something as utilitarian as a couch could be such a source of nostalgia. Maybe this is why I have yet to find a couch that I like better than the one we have. Maybe excessive wistfulness is just one of those things that happens when you become a parent.