If any of you are children of the corn 1990s Saturday Night Live era, the following will make sense to you. If you are not, I recommend you indulge in some youtube time watching these quality educational skits.
Party on, Wayne. Party on, Garth.
It's time for an extreme close up! Excellent.
We're not worthy!
Sorry, I'll stop now. You guys have a good weekend.
For both of you who seem to enjoy visiting my corner of the blogosphere, I owe you an apology. I realize I haven't been posting very often, and I appreciate you've still been stopping by to check on Cabbage Ranch.
In my defense (if the glove does not fit, you must acquit): I have been trying to get my life back on track since returning from the land of nonstop work.
Our house was filthy. Not in a neglectful, I'm-not-trying-because-I'm-the-husband way, but in a I'm doing-two-people's-work-while-Katie-is-gone way. And the pantry was empty of the kinds of groceries I buy (but full of those Cabbage buys, like bacon and Spree candies). We were also lacking necessities like homemade wipes and Annie's favorite chewy bones, and furthermore Fletcher was reigning over one of our living room chairs and making it uninhabitable with his black fur. Which, I suspect, is just what he intended.
Plus I've been busy taking naps. I'm pretty much a self-professed non-napper, so allow me to explain via mud boots.
We are a very happy threesome.
We like to spend time, just the three of us, puttering around Cabbage Ranch in our mud boots and adorning each other with stray pieces of alfalfa, eating pizza on Sundays, feeding the deer and loving on our horses.
But sometimes it is possible to know that someone else isn't here yet. So...
I wrote this letter to Beep October 19, 2010, the same day this picture was taken.
I love you unreasonably. I cannot help it, or myself. When you were growing inside me, I questioned how I felt; I loved you automatically, because you were flesh of my flesh and part of the very core of my being- literally. But it was hard to know exactly whom I was loving.
I loved you specifically: I loved your kicks and turns, I loved the way you got excited at Daddy's voice, I loved the way you calmed when we read "Goodnight Moon." I loved that you always hung your feet under my right rib. But in the bigger picture, I didn't know who you were yet.
When you were born, I loved you immediately. You were the little girl I thought I carried, and seeing you seemed to pre-date all my feelings for you. When I first saw you, your big dark eyes met mine and I knew it was you. I loved you desperately.
I loved you in shock as I held you for a few seconds, and I loved you enough to let them take you, running down the hallway toward the NICU with Daddy close behind. I waited impatiently until they wheeled me over to see you. I loved you.
As we have gotten to know each other, I have come to love you totally. I love your wide smile and the way your eyes light up when you see me. I love your milky skin and peach fuzz hair. I love your little, long fingers and toes, your perfect dimpled elbows and knees. I love your smooth back and little baby behind. I love that ticklish tummy and the way you wait with wide eyes and smiley mouth for me to razz it again.
I love you completely during sleep, when you and I nest together next to Daddy. I love you when you fuss, and I confess I love the way you stop when I hold you. I love the way you sit on my left hip and wrap your legs around me tight. I love your little voice and the way you're starting to talk to us.
I am a woman in love. Automatically, immediately, totally, completely. I cannot help it, and wouldn't want to. I love you unreasonably.
I crouch low and swat at the fly buzzing around my head. Shaking the box of Nilla Wafers, I peer through the brush and croak a hopeful "Eeeep?"
In response she licks her lips, meanders parallel, and moves away a step. My eyes follow four dainty cloven hooves mincing noiselessly through the web of undergrowth.
"Taaaaborrrrr! C'mere, Tabor. Want a cookie?"
From behind me comes a breathy little voice "Ma-ma!" Beep is watching from Cabbage's arms at the fenceline.
"Hi, Baby. Mama's talking to Tabor. See the deer? Eeee-eeep! Eeeee-eeep!" Come on, Tabor. Come take a cookie.
I can see her there, with her doppelganger sisterhood. The others warily pick their way through brush and around trees with one eye on me. She, however, studiously ignores me. She's part of the in-crowd now, and I am the interloper.
I decide I don't like Tabor's new ringleader. The doe is tall and thin, and she regards me with a suspicious air. She stays between me and her band of lady-deer, convincing them she's the boldest. But I know she'd be the first to race away, leave them unprotected, save herself and desert my Tabor with her scarred leg, her damaged tendons.
Don't fall for her, Tabor. Come home.
I see you, my Beep-Beep. I see you there, picking your way around and through the land in back of Cabbage Ranch. I'm glad you're having fun, but it's been a week. You're going to have a baby. There are coyotes out there and you can't run as fast, jump as high, or survive as well as the others. Let them do their thing and take their chances. Come home.
She wanders further away and I throw some cookies out, along the fence where Cabbage has been leaving water and corn. We will feed them all rather than see her go hungry. The wire fence is pushed down low enough for our sweet little Tabor to hop over it easily, even with her imperfect leg. I don't think she will. She's too busy asserting her independence.
In some ways I'm really okay with Tabor finding her own way, but my beloved has a soft heart and a worried look in his eye. He looked for her for days before his first sighting, which was gleefully texted to me with a photo and many exclamation marks. I know he'll use his persuasive powers (and corn) to keep her coming back daily, and when the time is right he'll coax or carry her back over the fence.
But as I watch her fade away, I know today isn't that day. I stand, and close the box of cookies, and walk to the gate. I take Beep from Cabbage and point to the white legs now barely visible in the lowering night.
"See the deer, Baby? Her name was Beep before it was yours. That's what we called Tabor when she was a baby like you. Call for Tabor."
The baby's high voice rings true through the cooling night air "Taborrrrrr! Corrrrn!"
"Good job. Bring her home."
Above us, the night turns cerulean blue and my baby points to the sky and says, "Moon?"
The moon has her face tilted and partially hidden, as if resting wearily in her hand.