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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Feeling Human

She had been waiting for this moment all day long.

As soon as her husband walked through the front door, she wanted to run into their bedroom, lock the door and crawl into bed.

But she waited. Patiently.

She waited until after kissed her softly on the cheek, changed out of his suit and grabbed himself a beer.

He plopped down on the couch next to her and she proceeded quickly to fill him in on the day's activities, which weren't much different than the day before or the day before that. Then after a long pause she said that she needed some time to herself.

She explained that she couldn't even remember brushing her teeth that morning or if she ate. With the indirect mention of food, she apologized for there being no dinner on the table again tonight and then exclaimed what she really wanted was a hot shower. And a glass of wine.

"Of course", he said and scurried off to the kitchen, opened a bottle of her favorite Cabernet and poured her a glass.

With raised eyebrows and a smile, she took it from him when he returned to the living room.

"I've got this, go have a shower, enjoy your wine and try to relax," he urged.

These were the most beautiful words she had heard all day. Perhaps the only words she had heard all day.

"Really?", and before he could give it a second thought, she tip toed down the hall to their bedroom and once safely inside, closed the door behind her and heard it click.

She waited and listened.


Setting her wine on the wide lip of the porcelain sink, she turned the hot water on in the shower and as the bathroom filled with warm steam, she felt her body slowing start to relax.

She stripped off her worn out khakis, underwear, stained oversize sweatshirt and threadbare nursing bra; stuffed her hair in a shower cap and stepped into the shower.

The water felt warm and inviting, reminiscent of a hug.

Such a simple pleasure, a shower.

Without really thinking about it, she pulled the shower cap off her head and let her long blond hair cascade down her back. Too much of an ordeal to dry it, she hadn't intended to get her hair wet at all, but she couldn't help herself, the water was beckoning, breathing new life into her and she wanted nothing more than to wash this day away. It had started far too early and had gotten increasingly difficult as the hours wore on. Every part of her body ached and she was exhausted. She let the water do it's magic.

There was one thing missing. Longingly, through the foggy shower door, she stared at her full glass of wine. Oh well, she thought, a shower was what I really needed.

She scrubbed her body with a loofah, used the fancy French lavender body wash her sister-in-law had given her for her birthday, shaved her legs, washed and conditioned her hair, applied a face mask and brushed and flossed her teeth. It's amazing how much good a shower and a little personal grooming can do, she thought.

After what seemed like an hour or more, she rejoined her husband back on the couch with her still full glass of wine in hand and felt refreshed and calm.

"How did it go?", she whispered.

With a hand gesture, as if presenting his most prized possessions, he said, "Not a peep."

"Good. I needed that. I'm feeling human again. So, why don't you tell me about your day?" She was about to enjoy her first sip of wine and connect with her husband for the first time in what seemed like days, two and then three tiny cries, one from each of the bassinets in front of them demanding her attention.

She knew it had been two hours since their last feeding, so with a heavy sigh, she murmured, "Maybe later?" and they both stood up to attend to their triplets.

This post is fiction and was written for The Red Dress Club's writing meme, Red Writing Hood. This week's prompt was to write a short piece - fiction or non-fiction - inspired by one or both of these statements: Water gives life. It also takes it away.

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Blogger Natalie said...

Gah! You got me! I thought it was about you...fantastic, Tonya!

March 3, 2011 at 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

Great story. I can't imagine having to take care of triplets. I would want a bottle, I mean, glass of wine and a shower when my husband got home also if I was taking care of triplets all day.

March 3, 2011 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger Soge shirts said...

I liked it. I really thought for a second she was going to get to reconnect with her husband and boom life beckoned. Was cool that her husband let her relax.

March 3, 2011 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Yikes, Triplets! I was so not expecting that!!!

March 3, 2011 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger adrienzgirl said...

I know with one baby in the house there are days that a glass of wine and a shower are all I long for all day. I was feeling it the whole way through, then you laid the triplets slam down. I cannot even fathom the depths of her tiredness now.

March 4, 2011 at 1:57 AM  
Anonymous tracy said...

I really love this and every mom can relate. So well done.

March 4, 2011 at 4:04 AM  
Blogger Cristina said...

Oh I can so relate to this... there have been days when standing in the shower... all by myself.... 15 of minutes silence... was just what I needed to save my sanity. and I don't even have triplets.

March 4, 2011 at 4:28 AM  
Anonymous erin margolin said...

SO relatable. I always thought I had my hands full with twins, but triplets? Whew. What a sweet and supportive husband! And amen to the shower!

Delighted in reading this because we've all been there...

March 4, 2011 at 4:30 AM  
Blogger By Word of Mouth Musings said...

I remember making sure the baby was dressed in a different outfit by the time my hub got home, so it looked like I had accomplished something some days, the first two months, I was exhausted and my parents where there and my husband cooked. Having my second placed in my arms thro adoption - was amazing the difference, we arrived places on time, we both looked good - that exhaustion, its hard to explain to people - you did it so well ... and three, Good lord!

March 4, 2011 at 4:41 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

What a great husband!

I simply can't imagine triplets! I'd more than likely go insane!

Funny how something so simple as a nice, long, hot shower can be the best thing in the world.

March 4, 2011 at 4:58 AM  
Blogger Lynn MacDonald said...

This was lovely! I had a friend who had triplets and 18 months later she had another child. I asked how she managed and she said it was such a relief having only one baby. Yeah, but she had three 18 month olds. I can't imagine!

March 4, 2011 at 4:59 AM  
Blogger DaisyGal said...

I felt every single emotion of that, I remember the infant days with my twins, and how much the daily shower that I took made my life look and feel so much better. You captured it so well. :)

March 4, 2011 at 6:07 AM  
Blogger singedwingangel said...

Triplets?? OH dear heaven I would be bald.. and what a hubby to let her have that time..

March 4, 2011 at 6:32 AM  
Anonymous Stacey said...

Wonderful story! I've so been there. Showers are absolutely heaven! But I definitely wasn't expecting triplets!

March 4, 2011 at 6:56 AM  
Anonymous Denelle @CaitsConcepts said...

Very reminiscent of my many days waiting for SO to get home so I can just BREATHE in (sort of) peace (even if everyone is still screaming, *I* don't have to deal with it for a few minutes!). And the shower? Amazing how people sometimes take them for granted until there are kids involved!

March 4, 2011 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger (Florida) Girl said...

Oh I can feel her exhaustion. Having only a shower to look forward to really drives this character home for me.

Stopping by from TRDC.

March 4, 2011 at 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my God. I could so relate to this. While I don't have triplets, I think every mother has been to that point where flossing is a special joy. And shaving your legs? Heaven!

This was fabulous.

March 4, 2011 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger amygrew said...

I feel this way just about everyday....

Great writing!

March 4, 2011 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Mama Jules said...

Every mom can relate to the power of a shower. I can't imagine having triplets!

March 4, 2011 at 11:20 AM  
Blogger Work, Wife, Mom... Life! said...

fabulous!!! love it!

March 4, 2011 at 11:27 AM  
Anonymous CDG said...

I only have one and he's three, and I still feel that good when I get a "real" shower...

March 4, 2011 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Victoria KP said...

Oh, I have totally had days like this--although never with 3 babies at once! Yes indeed, there are days when a long hot shower is nothing short of heaven.

March 4, 2011 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Shell said...

Oh, the healing power of a shower!

March 4, 2011 at 1:27 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I remember those days. When taking a shower meant listening to screaming so I never did it until I had back up OR the baby was fast asleep (rare thing that)

Loved it.

Visiting from RDC

March 4, 2011 at 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Leighann said...

Oh how right you are.
A shower can work wonders

March 4, 2011 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Mothers' Hideaway said...

Perfect. Sometimes my husband knows to leave me be until after I shower and get into fresh clean clothes. I can definitely relate.

March 4, 2011 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

I know with complete certainty that there is a special place in Heaven, tucked way back in the corner, velvet rope and all, where parents of multiples get to party.

One at a time almost killed me, triplets, egad. Excellent dose of perspective! Well done.

March 4, 2011 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

You really did a great job of showing and not telling. You didn't have to tell us at the beginning of the story there was a baby (or 3!) and that's why she was tired. You showed her stained shirt, her nursing bra.

And then a zinger at the end. Really well done, Tonya!

March 4, 2011 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Nice! One baby or three, I'm sure there's many a Mama who can relate to how hard it is to squeeze something that was once simple & routine into a new routine with a baby or babies!:>

March 4, 2011 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Nichole said...

I love this character, Tonya. She is so relatable.
I have been her...for nearly four years. One baby or three, that feeling is the same.
I have even taken my wine glass into the shower (use a tumber!).
Great job of making me identify with her.
So proud of you!

March 4, 2011 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger From Tracie said...

Triplets! I can't even begin to imagine how tired she must be...but you did a great job giving me a peek.

I love your take on the prompt.

March 4, 2011 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Sherri said...

I felt like this was you, since you made her so easy to relate to. I was paying such close attention to the story and wasn't sure where it would go next.

I loved it! Great job!

March 4, 2011 at 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Ilana @mommyshorts said...

My favorite part was most definitely the shower. So much detail. I felt that first moment when the water hits the top of your head and runs through your hair. There is nothing better.

Maybe I just need a shower. Well done!

March 4, 2011 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Rebel Chick said...

Loved it! I gasped at the word "triplets" - ha ha ha!

March 5, 2011 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Amazing, amazing work friend. That character is living me dream, but you already know that :)

March 5, 2011 at 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My shower is my sanctuary. I stay in there as long as possible to recharge (and that's usually at the start of the day!). I know exactly what you mean by she had not spoken to a soul all day. The only words she had heard. The first days can be so lonely and exhausting. Glad she was able to recharge.

March 5, 2011 at 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Mel said...

Very well done! I love surprise endings. :-)

March 5, 2011 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Just Me said...


March 5, 2011 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Holy triplets, Batman!

But, yes, a hot shower is good for the soul!

March 5, 2011 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger The mad woman behind the blog said...

Can I borrow this husband? Loved the showing, not telling. Well done!
(And now I'm craving that shower!)

March 5, 2011 at 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember those crazy days. Okay, I didn't exactly have triplets but at one point I had a newborn, a 15 month old and 3 1/2 year old. And that hot shower with all the trimmings? Heaven.

March 5, 2011 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Veronica said...

A nice hot shower is like food for a mother's soul! Love how well you captured this moment!

March 5, 2011 at 1:11 PM  
Anonymous MamaRobinJ said...

So much truth in this. And I agree with Cheryl's comments - great telling.

March 5, 2011 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Carri said...

Great post! We all know what that's like, don't we? Minus the triplets part, of course. :)

March 7, 2011 at 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could have written this, though doubtful as well as you did. :-) I think I gave myself whiplash nodding my head in agreement.

The loss of sleep I was prepared for when having children. The loss of a hot shower longer than 5 minutes, not so much.

I thought it was nonfiction too, until the end. :) Nice twist.

March 7, 2011 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

Tonya, that was awesome! I LOVE the shower scene. I feel that way sometimes when I take showers. It's such an amazing feeling getting in there after a long rough day. And triplets?! Whoa! I cannot even imagine all that! This was great writing T!

March 8, 2011 at 12:51 PM  

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