Later at home, I make coffee, while she lies on the rug beside the kitchen, practicing her growls, screams, trills and vowels. Or she'll find a sleeve or toy to gum with her dripping mouth of drool.
I've wanted to be a mother for so long and now that I am I can't help but feel a strange sort of guilt for being home, for not working. It feels as if the eyes of feminism are frowning upon me, but I'm happy and so I think the whole fear of a feminist trying to fight me is silly. Besides I've never felt more empowered by my womanhood than after birthing my baby, and that's what I'd tell her. That and: my beautiful body made another beautiful body! Yes, I wear aprons and burp cloths, seeped spots of breast milk, strings of bubbled drool and splashes of spit up. I write grocery lists, letters, cards and stories. I draw baths and little penciled pictures. I fold laundry and damp risen dough. I wash dishes and the ledges of windows. I read paper pages and digital recipes. But this is my choice. I want to be home. I like it here. I get all the fresh air I want. And time, so much time. Time to lay on the floor reading cardboard books, shaking rattles, playing Raffi's Baby Beluga on my guitar, dancing. Time to listen to birds in the bushes, the Winter wind and the near silence of my infant's sleep. Time to stop in a sunbeam while light pricks the centers of my pores, sprouting gratitude. We don't have an excess of money, but we don't really mind. We are not hungry or cold, but happy and generously clothed. We possess a beautiful wealth: one fuller than any billionaire's bank vault. It can't buy lavish gifts in boutique boxes or clothing from foreign factories folded into large paper bags, but I have the present as if it were wrapped around me like an invisible flower bow tied around my middle. I'll catch my career later. There's time enough for that too. I've wanted to be a mother for so long and now that I am, it's important that I ignore the supposed/invented thoughts of others. This is what I've decided anyways.
I am no longer a traveler, a reveler or social mixer. Right now, I am mostly just Mother and I don't mind that title at all.