Sunday, October 31, 2010

In Tents

Dear Cora,

It was in a tent that I hoped for you.

In a tent that I was amazed by your presence in my expanding belly.

In a tent I was snuggled with you but wished you would stop kicking me in the head and go back to sleep.

 Enjoying a morning campfire.
 We all felt a little zombie like.

Last weekend we took you camping with us.  Between the hours of midnight and two a.m. when you were playing instead of sleeping (hey, at least you weren't screaming), groggy memories of other times in tents floated in and out of my semi consciousness.

In October of 2008 your papa and I snuck away for a little outdoor weekend.  We had been hoping for you for a few months but you were still just a dream.  Our last morning of the trip we awoke to sheets of rain pummeling our tent.  We weren't in a hurry to pack our wet stuff so we lounged in the tent and read.  I was reading The Red Tent, a book your Grammy passed on many, many months earlier (years maybe) that I was just getting around too. 

With each page I was drawn deeper into the book as it related so deeply to my current feelings.  Wanting a child myself I was fascinated by the joys, pains, losses, struggles and blessings recounted in the story.  As I reclined in the tent to the melody of rain and thunder, I completely slipped into each of the characters in awe and terrified of my own uncertain future.  On the ride home,  I don't think I uttered one word to your papa because I couldn't tear away from the story.

Two weeks later, your story began. 

Five months later, I found myself in a tent again with your papa.  In the middle of the desert.

You were my constant companion in body and spirit.  There wasn't one step on the trail when you didn't occupy most of the space in my mind.  My hands frequently rested on the spot I thought you might be sleeping or wiggling.  Someday I want to take you to retrace every place we visited on that trip, so you too can be inspired by the beauty.

At night we would settle in together on the ground and I would wait to feel your wiggles as they were still slight at that stage of the pregnancy.  I'm certain when I slept that my lips smiled with dreams of you.  I frequently thought of The Red Tent and of lying in our tent in the rain hoping for you. 

Nineteen months later I was in a tent again.  This time, you were with me; now a toddler.  You love being outside and are always up for adventure.  You walked some of the steps on the trail with me and rode the other steps on my back while peacefully sleeping. 

At night when we settled in to sleep, you were too excited.  You could see the flames of the fire outside flickering against the tent walls and were enamored.  Eventually, I rocked you to sleep.  You were one tired, sweet girl.  You were splayed out on your back with your arms up by your ears in fists; this is how you slept when you were about six months old.  Again, I thought of The Red Tent and marveled at what a miracle you are. 

At midnight, the rain pinged on the fly and woke you up and you decided to have a party until around two a.m.  At one point you flung a book at my head your small voice pleading me to read it to you.

I hope we go camping again soon, and I hope you decide to cancel your midnight party. 



  1. I'm glad the book meant so much to you. Womanhood is such a wonderful thing as you are obviously finding out. Always cherish that you and Cora are also a part of The Red Tent.