Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Writing Wednesday-Snapshot Sample

This is what started it all.

Paul's cousin, Polly, was the first to start a family. We found out she was pregnant during Thanksgiving 2004, shortly after she had returned from her year-long deployment to Kuwait. We gave our hugs and congratulations, all the while thinking, "Really? How can she--how can anybody--possibly be ready to be a parent? How?"

We were at the point when we knew we should at least consider the concept. Our thirties were approaching, and doctors had told me that I might have difficulty conceiving. We were in a decent place financially, and our marriage was solid. But, the idea was too enormous. There was no turning back. It was like getting tattoos on our faces--we really had to be sure.

Despite our own lingering concerns, Polly was ready to get her tattoo. Appropriately enough for the daughter of a soldier, Katie was born on the 4th of July.

This little girl was our gateway drug. It was the smell--baby powder, milky breath and lavender. It was the soft hair, standing up like duck fluff, tickling our chins, our cheeks, our hearts. We stopped our conversations and just looked at her as she chewed on her books or sang her songs to herself.

The photo album of that year is bursting with pictures of that little girl. We traveled more that year than we had ever traveled before, but looking at the photographic evidence, you would think she was our daughter, and that we spent each day playing with her on the soft brown carpet.

Secretly, we both wanted exactly that.

In the past, when I pointed out cute babies to Paul, he would reply, deadpan, "Yes, that is a small human." But I captured this picture one morning. Polly was on a run, and I was still sleeping. Paul heard Katie stirring in her pack and play in our guest room, crept out of bed, and swooped her up.

He stood by our back window, gently rocking Katie back and forth, humming a nameless tune, as she sucked on her pacifier and took in this big, big world.

Although I couldn't see his face, I knew Paul was content, and I knew that this was our future.

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