Going Home

Originally published in the March 2013 issue of The Sun

When we came home from the hospital after our son’s birth, I immediately shrugged the bags off my shoulder and set to work unpacking dirty clothes. (I have this compulsion to unpack right away after a trip, always in a hurry to restore order.) I noticed my wife, still exhausted from the delivery, lifting our son from the car seat into her arms. “This is our couch,” she whispered, walking about. “And this is our kitchen.”

This shriveled, squinting baby, who hadn’t even learned to hold his eyes open, couldn’t comprehend any of this. Yet she went on showing him the nursery, the crib, the artwork still leaning against the wall where we meant to hang it. I stopped to watch. The laundry could wait.

I had known my wife as a lover, a friend, a traveling companion. Now, as she opened the back door to introduce our son to the garden, I saw her anew. I didn’t need another way to love her, but there it was.