It’s the Nyana show twenty-four hours a day over here. I wake up every morning with just one thought: get to the hospital to see how she did through the night. I pull up a chair and watch her for as long as my day will allow me to, before coming home to think about how adorable she is while I blankly go about my chores. I tell Don about how she looked today while we eat dinner and make our way across the city to see her in the evening, and after we’re home from our date with Nyana, I will inevitably start browsing photos of her, or start a new blog post about her. I go to bed and dream about her, or about things happening to her, or about doctors or incubators or other things you might find in the NICU. I’m afraid some days that my head is about to explode about all things Nyana.
So today, at Don’s suggestion, I took the day off. I got out of bed as soon as he left for work, like I always do, and fed the cats and headed out, like I always do. But this morning, instead of waiting for the bus, I walked up the street to the coffee shop. I bought myself a muffin, and I sat outside with my latté, and I watched the world go by. I took a step back from the life I’ve been living for six weeks and just people-watched, wondering what kind of lives everyone else was living.
I took care of some errands while out and about, and was back at our apartment around 11am. Not knowing exactly how to busy myself for the afternoon if I wasn’t going to the hospital, I phoned Nyana’s nurse. After being assured that she was having a good day—still coming down on her ventilator settings—I went about cleaning the house.
I slid both discs of Nyana’s namesake album into the stereo and started with the computer table. Forty-five minutes later I had a broom in my hand; three more hours passed and I was contemplating doing the windows as the sun went down. Even though I spent a good part of the day having an emotional tug-of-war between Man, does it ever feel good to finally take a day for me and I hope she’s OK, I’m the worst mother ever for not being there with her, dinner was simmering on the stove, and I was feeling a strange sense of ease, that it really was OK to be enjoying a perfectly mundane day.
It’s so easy to get caught up in a routine, and so easy to get so completely immersed in whatever this new definition of normal has become. Van Morrison has been in my head for days; I’m so glad I reminded myself that sometimes, it’s OK to take a step back and enjoy the days like this.