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When you come home to quiet, your first thought is alarm. You expect chaos. Expected it. Embraced it. Adjusted to it. The new norm. You had gone on an errand to get groceries and diapers and like, a nice latte to go, because you had to get out of the house. You felt a bit guilty cause you know your husband felt the same way. But man you were about to go insane. There was fresh snow outside, so it was too cold to open a window. You needed the fresh air.

Thankfully the fridge was basically empty. You two had been surviving off the congratulatory casseroles from the adoption party. Spencer was smart. He suggested freezing a lot it so you could eat it when we needed it, prevent spoilage. Just one of the thousand reasons why you married him, and started a family with him.

Caroline wasn’t a newborn really, but she was still a baby. You were both pretty stunned you got a baby. The black gay couple new to parenting doesn’t get offered emergency placement babies first. Not in this town, no Sir. But you and Spencer got lucky. She had rare corneal issues and couldn’t see very well.
Future surgery was certain.

Years of medical bills and therapy lay ahead. So she got passed over. Spencer likes to say she was waiting for us. When we walked in the room at Child Services, she held her hands out immediately at the sound of his voice.

Of course her first two weeks home were rough for her. New people. New sounds. New place. New noises. She didn’t sleep regularly. So neither you nor Spencer slept regularly. She was always crying. You still loved her to pieces.

You set the (reusable) grocery bags on the mudroom floor and tilted your head. Not a sound. You kicked off your snowy boots, hung up your coat, and pushed your feet into your slippers. Not a sound at all.

“Spencer?” Silence. You walk into the living room and stop. You see legs – adult legs – sticking out of the playpen at a weird angle. You stare. You walk over. You burst out laughing and slam your hand over your mouth to not disturb them.

Spencer got Caroline to sleep. She liked being in the play pen, but could never fall asleep in there , but it seemed Spencer found a way to keep her satisfied and get her a nice nap. Good lord, is that precious. Of course you took a few photos. Good lord, what a good Daddy he is. His hands cradled her body. She’s out like a light. You watch them for a good ten minutes before you remember the milk and eggs are still sitting out.

You put away the groceries as quietly as you can. You tidy up. Get a load of laundry together. Reset. This is a marathon. Not a sprint. You’re a team. When Spencer gets up, you’ll take a nap. He’ll make dinner. The counters are clean and it’s ready to go.

You can do this, you tell yourself. You put your hands on your hips. Ok, but you are seriously cracking a window because god it is stuffy in here.

The window makes a creak.
“Daniel?” comes a dry voice.
“Yes Spencer?”
“Oh you’re back. Just wanna make sure no one’s breaking into the house.”
“Nah just getting some fresh air in here.”
“Good idea. Stuffy. I need ten more minutes ok?”
“Ok babe,” you say. “Love you both.”
“Love you too.”

You sit on the sofa and read that National Geographic you’ve been meaning to read, but doze off halfway through. Sometime later, you wake up to plantains frying on the stove. Spencer singing to Caroline in the kitchen. You drift in and out, listening to him sing along to the portable speaker, until he calls you for dinner.

Dinner was great, but the intimacy you and Spencer shared that night was even better. Amazing what happens when you have some energy.

Captions are 100% fictional.


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