I want to tell you something that happened a few days after your birth. A random act of kindness. I will probably tell you this again when I get around to writing the story of your birth, but oh well, you’ll hear it twice.
It involves a little think called post partum depression. I had it for a day or two, the weekend after your birth. It was mainly just wacky hormones which were settling back into place. Giving birth, you know, is a tremendous experience, one which is wrought with emotion on top of everything else.
I was up and walking around within hours after you arrived, and during the week we spent at the hospital, your papa would take me on a walk around the neighborhood of the hospital, for a bit of air and a change of scenery from the beeping of the neonatal unit. It was the Saturday after your birth, and at 9pm it was still about 28 degrees. Extremely hot and muggy. We took a walk to the town hall of Levallois, and I was just crying. For no apparent reason, tears just falling as we strolled the empty streets and the gardens of the mairie.
As you probably know by the time you read this, one of my favorite times of the year is early June. Of course, now that is my favorite time of the year because it’s your birthday, but in the TBY (the Time Before You), it was my favorite time of the year because that’s when cherries begin to arrive in the market. How I love the biting into the first cherry of the year, even when they aren’t ripe yet, I just love it.
So, we were walking around the street, and we passed an open epicerie, one of the few places that was open since Levallois is dead on weekends. We stopped in to buy a coke to share and some water. We hadn’t brought much cash since we were only planning to be out for an hour or so. As your papa was paying for our drinks at the register, I spotted a box of ripe, black cherries at the entrance of the shop.
“Do we have enough for some cherries?” I asked your papa hopefully.
He looked regretful, and said unfortunately he only had a couple of euros on him.
I must have had this really sad look on my face, and it makes me laugh to think of it now, but I turned back to look longingly at the box of cherries, and in my state of PPD I was trying to hold back tears. I must have looked so pathetic, because the owner of the shop looked pitifully at me, and then walked around the register, grabbed a handful of four or five cherries, and said “Tenez, Madame, s’il vous plâit”, as he handed them to me.
Well, if I was holding back tears then, this act of kindness really sent me over the edge. I could barely muster out my “Merci Monsieur, c’est très gentil” before I had to bolt out of the shop to let the tears flow. Your papa and I slowly walked around the gardens of the mairie, in the damp heat, while I slowly ate my first cherries of the season, and they were sweet and good…