Jon and I are headed to San Francisco this morning for a quick business trip, and last night after dropping Leta and Chuck off at their respective vacation destinations we came back to an empty house. The plumbers finished laying the new pipe and filling the holes yesterday afternoon, so we poured ourselves a celebratory vodka tonic and sat on the porch to admire the gaping scars in our driveway.

Normally Leta would have been tucked away in her room singing unrecognizable lullabies as she drifted to sleep, and Chuck would have been outside with us busily sniffing every blade of grass on the lawn in an effort to expand his mental library of Various Smells of Vertical Objects. But last night we sat there alone, and the silence was very lonely.

Sometimes Jon and I talk about what life was like before we had a baby, before the dog, before the ongoing chaos of those responsibilities. And I remember during those first months of Leta’s life when I had a hard time going ten minutes without giving in to a nervous breakdown how I sometimes cursed the fact that we had gone and ruined our lives. Last night when confronted with that hollow silence, the silence of the way things used to be, all I could think was, thank God we had a baby and ruined our lives.