New Family Time

The new family is chilling on a sunny winter afternoon, spread out on the big sectional sofa, catching up on the world, watching a recorded broadcast of Obama’s speech at the Tucson Memorial from Wednesday night.  The baby is sleeping in a carrier, up against Matt’s chest.  Then Matt goes to shower, Adrienne nurses again, I change laundry from the washer to the dryer and put on another load.  Next we watch a recorded episode of Modern Family, which we think is funny even though we’re the modern family.  Emilio is nursing again, and when he’s finished he’s asleep, so I take him and put him on my chest.  I go back to more cooking — friends are coming for dinner, Matt lays down for a bit, I feed Khidijah, Adrienne nurses and works on her blog, updates Facebook and creates a Flickr upload of photos she emails to family.  Matt gets up and takes Khidijah for a walk, Emilio finishes nursing, asleep again, and goes back on my chest.  Friends arrive, Matt’s parents come and tend to Emilio while we all eat, David arrives on the train and I go pick him up.  We sit around on the big sofa again talking and laughing and Emilio nurses again then is alert and intrigued by the world for a good bit before everyone leaves.  We all go to bed and it’s quiet.  Emilio is sleeping so Adrienne and Matt are asleep and David is back beside me in bed, breathing sleep breath.  I’m awake.  I can feel time settling around me, the currents of time that eddy around me during the day, the gulps of time Emilio is taking in and redirecting.  The stream of emails or deadlines catches me for moments, but then I’m back listening for a load of laundry to finish, for Emilio to need changing, to hold him, to stare into his new eyes, to wash his diapers and wet clothes.  He gets hungry, we get hungry, everyone eats and we clean up.  Emilio has become the anchor to our clocks, he is our clocks, he is fascinating and fascinated and there’s no schedule except keeping this new young family moving through each unfolding day.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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