All quiet on the domestic front. I am pumping milk while the rest of the household is still sleeping. It is a rare moment of peace. I know that sometime between 12:30 am and now, I had gotten up once in the night to tend to my son. Yet strangely I feel rested.
I think of the times I have heard the saying “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free.” I think of how I pointed out that I, and my sisters, are not in fact cows. Somehow that really blunt point was still lost on some people and was met with empty, confused looks. The fact that women are human beings just does not compute with some people. I think I’m still Facebook friends with some of those people. Should I unfriend them or leave them on so that I can occasionally remind myself of how glad I should be that they are no longer part of my real, analog life?
I think about the time that my husband and I visited a cow farm on the countryside in Sweden. The cows were herded into a carousel, where they were hooked up to a milking machine. Our guide unhooked the apparatus on one cow to let me hand-milk the cow. I felt like an intruder as my fingers grasped the cow’s nipples and squeezed. The cow didn’t seem to notice, and milk came readily. Now I squeeze milk out of myself.
When we exited the carousel area, there was a huge smear of cow dung on the gate. Despite seeing it, I somehow got it on my arm and then somehow (really, I didn’t mean it) got it on my husband too. Luckily we were both wearing extra “cow farm” clothes that the farmer lent us. We rinsed off and changed our clothes.
Somehow these memories – of the people who would say things like “why buy the cow...” juxtaposed with the memory of the cow farm in Dalarna, juxtaposed with the quietness of the house as my loved ones sleep, makes me remember for the first time in a long time just how completely happy in my life I am.