Last night was the first time since Kaya was an infant that I had that odd combination of utter exhaustion and existential satisfaction that many parents know well. The brain goes to interesting places when it’s part of a body that’s fast asleep yet is itself tuned into the frequency of a nearby child learning to breathe and process saliva and sleep and exist in this world. I was just as terrified in our first night at home with Roby as I was with Kaya, because his vulnerability is so utterly heartbreaking and he’s so completely dependent upon us. Yet I was also able to calm myself more quickly this time; all signs are that he’s a healthy baby, and they all gurgle and get restless. Intellectually, I know we’ll all settle into routine and learn to manage the exhaustion. I was and am prepared for how tired I’m going to get these next weeks and months. Last night as I lay in bed 4 hours after I went to sleep, having gotten all of about 20 minutes, I smiled to myself at how beautifully tired I was. Only days from now, or perhaps tonight, the beauty will fade away and there’ll only be exhaustion. But last night I was surfing on the tension between wanting, needing to sleep so badly, and yet needing even more to bear witness to my boy’s first night in our home. It was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.