Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Normalcy - A Surreal Date

Yesterday was our anniversary. Not our wedding anniversary, but the date we started out officially as a couple. Fourteen years later, we still celebrate it. We didn't do anything wild and crazy yesterday. After a busy day and a lot of early evening errands, we simply went to a Tim Horton's and sat down together - all three of us - for hot chocolate with coffee. Isla just had hot chocolate. Getting time together is rare. Sitting down at a coffee shop - something we used to do a lot when we first started dating is unheard of these days. We used to go to write or brainstorm or connect with friends. The past 2.5 years have been so absorbed in getting through our days that we have lost any memory of what it is to just relax, to get a little crazy. And it's not just because we have a child and stay at home. For any of you that know us, our world was turned upside down when Isla arrived 3.5 months early at 26 weeks and 2 pounds. After 5 months in hospital and what seems like a MILLION follow up medical appointments (I keep meaning to count them to record exactly how many therapists, doctors, specialists, Isla has seen and how many needles she has been given), life is starting to settle. Each day, each week gets a little easier in many ways, but the ramifications of the whole EVENT is still attached to everything we do. And, as we learn from other parents of premature, pre-term babies who 'graduated' from NICU many years ahead of Isla, we cannot yet sit on our laurels. Not yet.

HOWEVER, we had a moment last night. A wonderful, surreal moment. It was delicious. We sat in a regular coffee shop, having a break, a treat together. Tim Horton's is hardly a funky venue. And i
t's not the first time we've been to a coffee shop since Isla came home almost 2 years ago, but this time it was different. Isla was greeting everyone around her, waving and shouting "hi!" loudly. I looked over at Jacques who had the most exquisite look of love, pride and happiness on his face. And I must have had the same look on mine. We just looked at each other and nodded. I don't remember exactly what we said, but it boiled down to this: we were having a 'normal' evening out together, something we thought we may never have. In that moment we were a normal couple, with a normal baby, having a normal moment at a normal place. It completely floored us. It was fleeting and oh, so precious.

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