There was a lot of information to absorb. Information for new parents; do’s and don’ts and how tos. I was overwhelmed though really I wasn’t doing any of the hard work. I couldn’t imagine what Ruhi was going through. She wouldn’t talk about it but appeared to be handling it pretty well so far.
I had to learn how to strap the baby into her new car seat. I was trying to do it without pinching her with all the straps and buckles. She was so tiny and delicate that every little twist of her face threw me in a panic.
Ruhi was upset. “But I want to hold her in my arms.”
“Darling this is not India. It is the law here. Besides, the car seat is the safest place for her.” She agreed albeit reluctantly and insisted on sitting in the back next to the baby so she could comfort her.
As we drove back home, I watched Ruhi’s face in the mirror. It was a revelation. I saw so much love and caring and tenderness, as she carried on a one-sided conversation with our newborn who I believe had fallen fast asleep.
Ruhi rewarded me with a beauteous smile when she saw the little welcome home party our neighbors and now dear friends Bob and Lucy had set up. Lucy in fact had practically forced it on me. “Ruhi deserves it, Shaan! Having a baby is not easy, ask me, I’ve had three. She’s craving for love and attention. You have to show it to her! Make her feel like a queen!”
They told me not to worry about anything. It was going to be a surprise.
It was– a lovely surprise. There were pink and silver balloons tied to our mailbox and a huge “Welcome home baby girl” banner on the front porch. Inside there were streamers everywhere, more balloons and on the kitchen table sat a beautiful pink cake and plenty of great smelling food which I’m sure Lucy had cooked herself– she was quite the chef and with Ruhi’s help had expanded her repertoire tremendously.
“Did you set this up?” Ruhi said with tears in her eyes and instantly I was overcome with guilt. My poor girl. Lucy was right. How insensitive I’d been.
I pulled her into my arms and kissed her forehead.“No darling, it was Bob and Lucy. They did everything.”
“Oh… that’s so sweet of them. I.. I must call and thank them right away.”
“Yes sweetheart. We will do it together later in the evening. You need to first eat some real food and get some rest. Having a baby is not easy even though you made it seem so.” She gave me a wan smile. I hugged her tighter then let go when she wiggled in my grasp. I hadn’t realized she had tender places all over. “Why don’t you go on upstairs and I will bring up some lunch. We can eat together.”
“Okay.” she said with a brighter smile this time.
The baby began to make unhappy noises. It brought an instant change in Ruhi. The fatigue disappeared and was replaced with an animated joy. She rushed where I had placed the baby and scooped her up as soon as I had untethered her from the carseat and walked away saying she needed to be changed and fed.
I stood listening for a while as she cooed to the baby and introduced her to her new house. It was a homely sound and calming. A new dynamic had entered our house and our lives.
With that feeling I walked out of the back door into the yard which was ringed by a grove of aspen trees. I walked through them to where the ground dropped off sharply into a valley. From there I had an unbroken view of the mountains and it never ceased to astound me. Ruhi and I had made this walk several times.
The sun was shining, the mountains were gleaming, the trees and birds were singing. I took several deep breaths and filled my lungs with the crystal clear air till I felt a little dizzy. I couldn’t get enough of it. I laughed and thanked God aloud. I thanked him that I was alive. What a beautiful day!
Want to know how Shaan and Ruhi reached here? Read their story in my novels Inconvenient Relations and Now and Forever links here.