Princess: Powder days take on a whole new meaning with a baby
The Aspen Princess
So it might be a little challenging for me to get through writing my column this week because my thoughts are like bubbles that form and then rise to the surface, popping midstream as if they never existed, there and then gone.
And then it snowed, right? It snowed and snowed and snowed, the biggest storm I can remember in the 14 years I’ve lived here.
In a way, the snow has enveloped my new son and me in a cocoon that feels sort of womblike, all white and gauzy and still and quiet. We spend the majority of our time on the couch in the living room, me propped up with four pillows and the nursing pillow on my lap, iPhone, water bottle and laptop on the coffee table that has been pushed close enough to the couch for me to reach it.
I’m having another one of those moments where you can say, “I told you so,” as in, “I told you taking care of a newborn would be hard.”
“Newborns are supposed to sleep most of the day, right?” I’d asked my mom friends.
They’d sort of nod and not say anything, knowing me well enough that I never listen and always have to learn everything the hard way.
Except my one friend Cathy, who is never afraid to throw down some hard-core truth. We were in the middle of an otherwise pleasant fall hike when she declared, “Taking care of a newborn almost killed me. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” As if that weren’t harsh enough, she was just getting warmed up. “I swear, pregnant women live in la-la land. If you only knew what’s coming.”
“OK, God,” I replied, rolling my eyes. “Aren’t I allowed to be happy? I’m just saying, I’m enjoying my pregnancy is all.”
I was in my second-trimester twinkle phase. I felt like I had fairy dust oozing from my pores and everything around me was magic. I felt beautiful, maybe for the first time in my life. I can’t ever remember being happier. So why was this chick trying to spoil it for me? What did I ever do to her?
“I just wish someone had told me how hard it was going to be,” she said.
I lost sleep over her little speech, wondering why she had to rain on my parade.
“I’m not going to try to ski 100 days with a newborn like you did,” I said, feeling defensive. “I’m going to take naps.”
Of course I’m grateful to her now because she was right — it is hard, and so whatever struggles I’m having feel warranted.
But it’s also delicious.
In a way, having to recover from surgery is like a get-out-of-jail-free card. I don’t have to beat myself up about not getting out there and snowboarding or hiking Highland Bowl or going back to yoga simply because I can’t. It’s the first time in years that I’ve been forced to just sit still. And there is something so simple and beautiful that comes with that. I guess it’s the whole “living in the moment” thing we all strive for, the ability to stop and breathe and just be where you are, not where you’re planning to go in an hour or where you were or where you think you should be, nose-in-screen in your stupid phones, portraying some image of yourself to your so-called Facebook friends and blind to whatever it is that is right in front of you.
Sitting on my couch with my five pillows and my baby, we are both cradled by the snowy mountains and the serpentine river, steam rising from the water’s surface like a mystical spirit. And all I have to do is sit and listen to his little squeaks and squawks and feel his tiny little breath in the crook of my neck, this life that I grew from a tiny little cell into a human being. A human being!
That’s not to say I don’t check Facebook at least 20 times a day and drool over all your powder photos and yearn for the world I’ve temporarily left behind.
The closest I’ve come to enjoying the powder is the driving I got to do in my Mini Countryman, which by the way is the best car ever in the entire world. I had 2 feet of snow in my driveway, and Ryan thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to get out.
“I’m not afraid of a little snow,” I declared.
I hopped in the car, and off it went, the little car that could. I got fresh tracks and a little float, and it’s for sure the most fun I’ve had in at least two weeks.
So yes, it’s been hard to miss out on all that snow. And yes, it’s hard to spend a good eight hours of your day feeding a baby, especially in the middle of the night when your eyes won’t stay open and your back starts to cramp up.
But then I inhale the sweet smell of Levi’s skin and the softness of his hair, and he’s just so teeny-tiny. Even though I want him to grow big and strong, there is a part of me that needs to consume this moment with the same urgency with which my baby takes his milk.
So I listen to the silence, and the moment is so perfect I know the feeling can’t possibly last. I also know that when I finally do get out there on my snowboard and feel the float under my feet and the earth spilling away from beneath me as gravity takes hold, I will fall in love with my life in the mountains all over again. And I also love knowing that before long, I’ll be standing on top of that mountain, sharing the moment with Levi.
The Princess wants to send her love to everyone at Aspen Highlands. Email your love back to email@example.com.
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