My days and nights smudge into one another lately. The life I once knew- one of freedom coupled with grown-up activities and sleep- is long gone. From the moment my lips touch my mug on Monday morning, I stumble and fight my way across the weekdays. I treasure that sweet moment on Saturday morning when I can slip back into cool sheets after Maya’s morning feeding and I cross my fingers for a siesta on Sunday afternoon.
I’m broke. A year ago, I had play money for movies and chinese take-out and bottles of luscious cabernet sauvignon. My fun money has morphed into mounds of diapers, baby wipes, hospitals bills, and an “energy green” Baby Bjorn. I’ve seen the inside of a bar once since last St. Patrick’s Day and even then I felt guilty knowing that I could have spent that thirty bucks on a rainforest-themed, song-dance-twinkling lights mobile for the baby. A vivid Hello Dinosaurs finger puppet book has replaced a candle on my coffee table and rattles kicked the magazines aside.
I’m a mess. I can honestly say that I was once quite attractive with my hair brushed just so and a flicker of make-up. Now I’m lucky if I can stagger out the front door with my hair in a pony-tail. Yes, that’s right- I’m the pony-tail mom. You know her: hair haphazardly pulled back, smudged mascara that further shadows the dark circles under her glazed eyes, remains of spit-up on her left shoulder, and a habit of rocking back-and-forth while cradling a loaf of bread in the check-out line.
I’m also more patient. More caring. Less obsessed about the face staring back in the mirror and more concerned about the world into which my daughter will become a woman. I’m beyond striving for possessions and I’m diligent with my finances. I’m ready to stop flitting about from place to place and settle down in a city with culture and great schools.
I never planned any of this, but I wouldn’t trade my new, sleep-deprived, broke, messy life for more freedom or money. When my girl wakes up in the morning and her face lights up when she sees me, my heart melts. When she’s fast asleep in my arms and I gaze down at her porcelain doll face, I’m overcome with gratitude and wonder what I did to deserve such a fantastic, beautiful baby.
I remember feeling this way when Josh was a baby, but I think as babies grow into teenagers, life changes and many parents (me) tend to revert back to more selfish ways around their self-sufficient children. So I thank you, Miss Maya, for clicking my refesh button. I’m thankful you’re in my life.