Tricia is tired. To paraphrase Sherwood Anderson, she has been wading in a long river, and her feet are wet. She is sleeping, uncomfortable as she is, and the soundlessness of it wears her all the more.
Our house is content and quiet right now, yet at any moment it can spring to life with little or no notice. It is a fun and happy place, but it takes its toll upon a woman heavy with child and a man weighed down with thought. In the center of it all sits a smiling boy. He is understanding and considerate. He is laughing and anxious. He knows it will change soon. His throne will expand to include another.
There is anticipation in the air with the arrival of new items to prepare for the impending addition. We can all feel it. It is electric and it is comfortable. Why not? We’ve done this before and Atticus, as is his custom, reflects our ease. He cares for his mother and humors his father with a sweetness that we have lost from our own lives; not even remembering how it felt to own it ourselves, only recognizing it for what it is because it fills places that had grown hollow and invites back a softness that had been hidden by layers of years and neglect.
He is the reason that we have invited another. It is because of him and it is for him. Yet it is bittersweet. I know that we aren’t breaking our bond with Atticus, but rather expanding it to include whomever it is that shall call him Big Brother. I have no misconceptions about the joy that lies ahead.
However; someday, after the arrival and years of shared love and increased laughter he will wonder what it is that I look back upon so quietly in the early morning as I sit by my window drinking coffee and watching nothing, despite the everything around it, and I will only be able to smile at him, for words in moments like that are just as likely to include tears, and I wouldn’t want him to think me sad when I tell him that I was lost in the memories left behind.