That was the question Shirley asked Snoot when they got home from the hospital over thirty-nine years ago with their newborn baby.
She set that bundle of baby down on the couch, looked at Snoot and asked him, “Now what do we do?”
It seemed so odd having another human in their lives. Having been married a little over two years they had gotten used to just the two of them. To make it all the more confusing, this human could not do anything! Just lie there and make funny little noises. How was she supposed to manage that?
Shirley recalls that huge moment well in her life so long ago. She says Snoot held her closely while she cried a bit, she wiped her tears, picked up that bundle of baby, and life began in earnest for that little family. That little family that grew to become five wonderful children altogether over the next ten years.
The subsequent children were far easier for Shirley. She was in her groove. Life was truly in full swing for her busy family, and she was with it every step of the way. The house was full and very busy. “Is this house ever quiet?” someone once asked Shirley. It made her laugh. “Yes! At 2 a.m. in the morning it is nice and quiet!”, she would reply.
“Are all these yours?”
“Don’t you know what causes this?”
“You do not have TV?? No wonder you have so many!”
Shirley grew used to the unsolicited remarks she would get from folks. It did not matter to her. It was her’s and Snoot’s family, not theirs. Her momma used to tell her to not mind what folks say. “Opinions are like noses, everybody has one,” she would say.
Once a lady from another country told Shirley she was a “blessed woman to have five children.” Shirley smiled and thanked her.
Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, and years into decades. This past August Shirley and Snoot gave hugs and good-byes to their just married daughter. Their last child, all grown up and now married to a fine young man.
Coming into their empty, quiet house recently, Shirley looked at Snoot. “We have come full circle. It is just you and me—
Now what do we do?”
Snoot held his teary-eyed Shirley a bit and said,”We will spend time together and have fun.”
Shirley is looking forward to that.