I realize I dislike this phase as intensely as I’ve come to dislike time. Therefore, I’m invariably and consciously late to the meeting. I feel strange and courteous; smiling– remarking the newborn’s coloring is the perfect shade of pink.
What I call home is less than a mile away, and presently a large group of children makes a mass exodus in front of the tables we have pushed together. A young girl remarks how cute the baby is, then hides her face in the crowd.
Time comes to disperse us. Do I say goodbye? No. I repeat my summation aloud: I need this; this meeting together. However, I’ve expressed similar needs about lots of other healthy things before. Like the pesto-basted fish that’s been sitting in my freezer forever. And a day. I leave it.