Ten days after J was born, Jim started his first civilian job after fulfilling ten years of service in the Navy. The new job was about ninety minutes from our house in Wisconsin and so in order to avoid the commute in his first weeks of working long hours he lived away from us Monday through Friday and came home on the weekends.
This lasted for seven months—much longer than we originally anticipated—due to the fact that it took us that long to sell our house.
J was a fairly easy-going baby and D, at around three years old, was a great helper. Although it was definitely difficult spending five out of seven days being in a different state from Jim for an extended period of time, the boys and I had a great daily routine and we did fine.
Part of that routine was taking pictures and video. That’s a part of the routine of most families with new babies of course, but especially for us: I wanted to document as much as possible so each weekend I could show Jim what went on while he was gone.
Some of my favorite pictures of the boys from that time were taken after spreading a blanket over our couch and posing the boys there. I took so many “couch pictures” that if you were to look at them all in a row you’d wonder if I had any imagination at all. I happen to look at those pictures as pretty much the same kind of method parents today use to chart the growth of their kids, by posing them with the very same item in each picture.
A stuffed animal or a couch. Same thing, you know?
I don’t remember much of the detail of those days because even though for the most part things went smoothly, I was still operating under the fog of having a new baby. What I do remember is that it was a happy fog, and I’ve got lots of pictures to remind me.