Dylan was about two months old and I was determined to get his birth announcements sent out in the mail.
…Even though everyone had already seen pictures of him on Facebook. But this seemed special, like something you do. You know, something to keep the post office in business.
It seemed like it took forever to have the photo shoot (where we cranked up the heat in our home when it was already 90 degrees outside, and even then Dylan still cried through most of it…and then pooped, and then fell asleep), and design the damn cards, and order them, and have them delivered, and address the envelopes……having a newborn, it was a miracle all this even happened at all.
So he was a full two months old, maybe more, and we made the trip to the post office. I made sure his diaper was changed and he was fed and burped and that I was actually wearing pants, and then we left.
We got into the post office and got in line. Dylan started whimpering. I used my foot to kinda rock him in his car seat.
We got to the front of the line and I bought all the stamps I needed. I moved us over to a side counter to start adding the 836452628 stamps to the pile of envelopes I had. Dylan’s whimpers got louder, and my anxiety went up. There were quite a few people in there and I didn’t want to disturb anyone.
After another few moments, I picked up his car seat and moved us into the lobby, which also has counter space. Now, the inside of the post office was air conditioned. The lobby was not. It was very hot out, and I was still sporting the post-pregnancy spare tire of fat that felt like a portable heater I couldn’t take off. Ugh.
As sweat dripped down my legs, I tried to put on those stamps as fast as I could. With my head down, I couldn’t see a lady come up to us. She commented on how cute Dylan was, asked how old he was, and then asked if I would like some help.
I gladly accepted.
The middle-aged lady was probably about as old as my own parents. “Are these his birth announcements?” she asked.
THAT’S INCREDIBLE! HOW DID YOU KNOW?!
“Yes,” I replied.
Dylan continued to cry, and she commented on how calm I was.
CALM?! I DON’T FEEL CALM! THIS IS WHY WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO LEAVE THE HOUSE, LIKE, EVER!
I realized I must look calm on the outside. My experience working with therapy clients in crisis has taught me well.
“Well…there’s not much I can do right now,” I said, “And this will only take a minute.”
THAT’S MY GROWN-UP PART TALKING. DON’T BELIEVE HER!! SHE’S JUST PRETENDING!
She nodded. “We’ve all been there. Such an exciting time,” she said as she finished her half of the pile.
I thanked her a lot and then she was gone.
Thank you, kind lady. Thank you for not judging me. Thank you so much for helping me.
Obviously, the experience has stuck with me.