The couple stood in the kitchen, meeting for the first moment of synchronized quiet since they rolled out of bed. For the past few weeks, they had been like two ships passing in the night as they tag-teamed the needs of their newborn and toddler. The time they spent together was by default, in trips to the store or on the couch at night.
How was it possible to be in the same house and not manage to bump into one another until mid-afternoon? They were too tired to think too much on it and leaned against one another for literal support. They were both so tired from the night-long activities of their newborn son that if one moved too quickly, the other was sure to collapse. It was a very precarious situation.
Baby seats and wipes and swaddles were scattered through the house, along with all of the toys and other random things that were pulled out from closets and cupboards, carried around and then abandoned in the middle of the floor by the toddler. The toddler’s latest acquisition was a bottle of red finger paint that he had been struggling to open for most of the morning. Thankfully, he lacked the grip strength, for now, but it was only a dreaded matter of time before he was finger painting the house.
The couple was resigned to the chaos, too tired to fight back the wave of trains, books, pacifiers and matchbox cars that crept into every room and hallway, while he worked a full-time job and she tried to keep the boys happy and healthy, alive was more like it, most of the time.
Somehow, through the haze of their exhaustion, they managed to find each other.
They looked at one another and laughed. Delirious? Maybe, but words were not needed in that moment. They leaned forward to kiss, when suddenly, a Tonka trunk was launched into the air and landed squarely on the woman’s bare foot. It hit with a crash of metal and plastic connecting with skin and bone and tile, courtesy of the toddler who trailed after his mother into the kitchen, hopeful for a snack.
And the two ships separated, blown apart by a fuzz-headed whirlwind.
The baby started to cry, as if on cue, and the fuzz-headed whirlwind demanded to be picked up. The ships continued on their way and sailed off in opposite directions until their next chance meeting on a clear day of perfect circumstances.