Everything Janet and I do together today feels like the last, especially as the day ends. Our last bath. Last time putting him to bed together. Last dinner. Last goodnight. It is all I can do to stop myself from crying every time I open my mouth.
I ask Janet for a do not forget list. I want her to give me something to cling to when she is gone.
"What do I still have to teach you? What else do you want to know?"
"Everything you can tell me in the next 19 minutes before I need to feed him again."
"Okay. Don't leave him on the bed, the changing table, or in the bath."
"Why is that again?"
I swallow down more tears. "Every day he will change."
"Trial and error, Michelle. Trial and error."
"I don't like error."
She patted me on the shoulder. "Well my dear, you just go with the flow."
"What if I don't like the flow."
She holds tight to my arm.
"What is the secret of motherhood success?"
"My client Phil used to say, I whisper voodoo in the babies' ears?"
"Can you teach me your baby voodoo."
Again her laughter. "No secret. Just love and caring and meet all of his needs."
"Oh that's all. No problem"
All day she reminds me: don't worry, be happy. every little thing is going to be all right.
And though this chant is much better than my grandmother's litany of god-damned son-of-a-bitch, I tell her that I'm not reassured. "Listen Bob, that isn't going to be enough for me."
When she laughs, I smile. I better stock up on the Marley. Can't hurt...