The next week it was my birthday*, and one of my aforementioned coworkers surprised me with a card and two movie passes that, she noted, also came along with her free babysitting services anytime we wanted.
Schwa? Free babysitting services? Yes, please!
The days that followed at work were particularly stressful and hellish, so by Friday last week, I was just DONE. As in, I needed a mindless release and wanted nothing more than to unwind in front of the big screen.
The friend who'd gotten me the passes was leaving for Boston the next day, so I didn't dare call her to come over and hang out while my daughter slept. Instead, my husband and I resorted to the one person who has essentially helped raise our daughter with us: my Mom.
I chose the movie that night: Life of Pi. My husband and I each went in completely blind without any preconceived notions of what this film was about. All we knew is what we saw in the newspaper ad -- it appeared to feature an East Indian man on a boat with a tiger. That's it. That's all we knew.
I won't spend my time here giving away any spoilers from the film, but just know that it was magnificent. Spiritual, thought-provoking, and overwhelmingly brilliant; I can't stop thinking about it, and I just want to see it again to watch for all the hidden symbols I missed the first time around.
But, as I said, this post isn't really about the movie.
When my husband and I got home just after midnight, we found my Mom sitting up on the couch watching over our daughter, who was now asleep in the living room instead of her crib where we left her.
My Mom informed us that she woke up around 10:30 pm and was vomiting in her room. It was all over her crib, blankets, toys, bedroom floor, and in her hair. Total grossness.
I know from previous episodes such as this that it can be virtually impossible to clean up vomit AND tend to a hysterical toddler at the same time when you're on your own, so my Mom just did what was absolutely necessary at the time. She left my daughter's room more or less the way it was and instead cleaned up my daughter and changed her pajamas before bringing her downstairs to be comforted.
It was now quite late, so we thanked my Mom for her help, and my husband then quickly drove her home while I tended to our daughter. As I was moving the hair off her face, she awoke and began speaking to me.
"I was screaming for you and Daddy to come to my room."
"I know, honey. I'm sorry we weren't here, but I'm glad Nonna was here to take care of you."
"Yeah, Nonna came to my room and changed my clothes. Nonna bringed me downstairs and was rocking me on the couch."
"Wow, that's so nice that Nonna was here and kept you safe."
"Yeah, I love Nonna...... Hey, where did Nonna go??"
As my daughter grows, I don't know what memories will stay will her vs. what will vanish from her cognitive mind. For me, personally, I can't really recall any definite memories prior to age three, so I doubt this one particular night will stand out for my daughter either.
And that kind of makes me sad.
So, you see, the purpose behind this post wasn't about my birthday or movies or the stress that can sometimes be my job, but rather it was about my daughter and her Nonna.
Even if my daughter will soon forget about this evening, I always want this post to remind her about the time that her Nonna was here to take care of her..... picking her up out of her crib, cleaning her off, and rocking her back to sleep.
* Completely unrelated, but my BFF Dani wrote the most beautiful, touching, flattering post for me on my recent birthday. You can read about it here.