The kid has started to show an interest in that part of our lives that predated her arrival, focusing largely on the bits after we met (Kina having traditionally believed that we were somehow always together.) We collectively spent a few hours yesterday filling her in on the things she wasn’t there to see about our relationship, all of which she listened to voraciously.
In her mind, everything about our lives as a couple—from the day Laurea first shook my hand—was aimed squarely at marriage (and really, squarely at a wedding day). This could not be further from the truth. What we didn’t talk to Kina about was how uncertain both of us were about pursuing a long-distance relationship back in 2002, how reticent Laurea was to get married, and how long it took for us to get our heads around having a baby.
With that long arc in mind, there were many stories with which to regale our darling daughter about our brilliant and carefree lives before she arrived. Laurea and I have often talked about those years, but always in the quiet hours after Kina goes to sleep—fearful, I suppose, that she’d feel both insulted by our nostalgia and left out by our stories. It felt good to be able to talk to Kina about the parties, the travel, the jobs, the friends, the wedding—and she was soaking it all up.
At one point, talking through our first summer together, Kina asked “and then she slept with you?” which was a little disorienting, until we realized that she was asking very literally if Laurea and I slept in the same bed at one point, having presumably slept in separate beds until then. This is true, of course, and so the answer was “yes”. I guess there are some stories she’ll have to figure out later.
We sometimes tell Kina that she’s always been with us, as a little egg inside Mommy’s tummy, and that seems satisfying to her—knowing that she’s traveled silently alongside. It’s funny to look back and realize that she was there, sort of, and that we just didn’t know where she was hiding or what to talk to her about. The future is always just a story in hiding, ready to be told in hindsight. Incubating.
Today’s Parade almost didn’t get done, because Laurea flubbed a paint color. Kina insisted I throw this away, but like a good studio assistant, I stashed it in the bookshelf until the maestro got her chill back. Later this evening, while playing queens and courtiers, I pulled it out and got Kina to complete it. By order of the queen, it says.