The Sofa

We sold it to a young couple who pulled up in a U-Haul van at dusk. It was a Saturday, and our son was two. I couldn’t wait to be rid of its microfiber fabric that felt soiled despite endless scrubbing.

That sofa, you see, was where I held my nightly vigils during the infinite dark of postpartum. If I couldn’t sleep, it seemed apt to lie awake on something reminiscent of daytime; maybe then I’d feel something normal, even if only for a minute.

Maybe even the joyful nights of years ago would seep into my skin somehow. The joy I faintly remembered during mid-summer romance, when my future husband and I couldn’t get through a whole movie together. Back then, before the dreadful hour upon me.

That sofa came to represent all that was no longer comfortable, all that could not be soothed. And when it was carried off that Saturday, the constant, rattling memory of those nights went too.


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It took me a long while to consider the title for this blog. I wanted something that defined me both as a person and a writer. A name that would also perhaps speak to a particular audience. Why “The Astronaut Wife?” Since my early days of blogging, I have leaned toward more of a confessional style of writing, to some degree. I write as much truth as I can muster at each phase of life. In addition, I also come from a conservative Southern family, and I have grown very far from those roots. You could say I have rocketed to the moon in terms of my upbringing. I have rocketed away from debilitating family dynamics, from worldviews that held me beneath a rock. In my thirties, and now my early to mid-forties, I have learned to live more comfortably with both sides of the moon and write just as much about the raw, dark places as the light ones. Don’t quote me on that, though. It’s quite likely I will lean more heavily toward one or the other depending on which way the wind is blowing. Then, we get to the wife part, and quite frankly, this is where the feminist in me bucked and brayed. Identifying myself as “wife” has felt simply stymieing, particularly since becoming a mother six and a half years ago. But if the truth is going to be told, being a wife to my particular husband has altered my entire shape and has given voice to much of the inner deep. So in fact, becoming a wife was the singular most life-changing moment for me in my journey to the moon and back. Fellow travelers, you can feel safe and comfortable here. What matters more than what you might “get” about me is what you might take for yourself.

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