April is asleep upstairs and I finally have both the time and inclination to write.

The heat wave that has been cooking the east coast has finally given us the summer we have all been wishing for. I regret that I haven’t managed to swim, as there is no body of water at the cottage, but spending weekends down there, surrounded by green and dappled shade, is good enough for me.

Philadelphia was a wonderful holiday. I really felt like I was on vacation, and the type of family holiday we used to do as kids. We have always gone to art galleries and museums, and this time was no different, except that instead of the four of us (mom, dad, Rich and me), my daughter had to stand in for my brother. She lends a whole different aspect to the holiday. But she was a star. She happily wandered through the art exhibitions, often in conversation with my dad, leaving me and mum to listen to the audio guides and wallow in the incredible depth, beauty and movement of the extraordinary artworks found both at the Barnes Foundation and in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She snoozed in the carrier when she was tired, and when she wasn’t she entertained other visitors, none of whom seemed perturbed by her attendance. Lots of friendly golden agers commented that “it’s never too early to start!” and indeed, at the age of 15 months, April has probably been to more art galleries and museums than many grown-ups. We’re just that kind of family, I guess.

I really miss my brother. Being home isn’t the same without him. It’s starting to really feel like he’s been away for a long time, and when it comes down to it, six months is a good while. The only consolation is that he’ll be back soon and the whole family will be united at the end of August for a weekend at the cottage before he begins his MBA. Then life will become busier for all of us, after this year of excitement and adventure. Mom’s back to school in the Fall after her year-long sabbatical, Rich will begin what might just be the most intense two years of his academic life, and I will resume work, hopefully write my book and have to juggle my time between April, my intellectual life and making money, at least until there’s another little person, and who knows when that’s going to be?

Speaking of which, I do know that I want to have another baby, but I also want to wait a bit longer before getting pregnant again. The Fall just seems too soon. I don’t want to cut April’s nursing short, and it certainly doesn’t look like she wants to stop any time soon. I’d like to have my body back just for a little while before another little person takes possession of it for two to three years. I am ovulating again, a sign that April’s dependence on me has lessened and that I am physically capable of having another child. I just don’t feel ready yet. When it comes down to it, I don’t think I have that much control. I’ll get pregnant when I get pregnant. It happened that way last time.

I would, however, like to take a weekend to be irresponsible and let loose a bit. Now, I wouldn’t say that I’m the poster-child for abstemious behaviour. I still drink a bit, and having found absolutely zero conclusive evidence that smoking hash or weed while nursing has a negative effect on the baby, I still enjoy that vice. (Yes, for those who read our travel blog, we did hurl some pot off a cliff in California and stop smoking for a few months, but since we got back to Montreal we have started to enjoy it again… in moderation, of course.) I just really really really want to eat mushrooms and hang out in nature. It is the most fun and other-worldly pleasure, and it’s been a really long time. I want to share that experience with Josh, and hey, if I hallucinate a bit while laughing so hard I pee in my pants, that wouldn’t be so bad either.

However, while I’m willing to purposely poison myself in the name of fun, I’m not willing to poison my child. Supposedly, you’re meant to continue nursing when you get food-poisoning because mama’s body will soak up the toxins, but I think I’d feel guilty. Plus, I don’t think April is ready for a weekend away from me, and ideally, I would like to take a weekend away, just me and Josh, with nothing to do but enjoy our time together.

One day.

For now, I will enjoy the baking heat and being at home with the family, and the fact that my little monkey is growing up faster than I can believe.

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