I never want to squash the fighter in you, whatever it is that will make you fight for your dreams, ideals, life. But for fuck’s sake darling, there is a time and place for everything. And going to bed isn’t the time or the place, especially when you are so obviously painfully tired. You remind me of myself sometimes and how I joked for years before finally quitting the ‘sauce’ that I wanted to run into those weird AA meetings with a beer in one hand yelling, “My momma didn’t raise no quitter!” To prove what? Exactly. Pick your battles. It’s some of the best advice I can give you. Well, that and don’t drink old spice. That was the advice your Grandpa Wally gave me the first time I met him in a hotel lounge when I was 18.
You made us earn our keep last night, sweet pea. You put your Papa and I through Parenting Bootcamp. We tag teamed though and eventually after the umpteenth time on the boob, you passed out, out of sheer exhaustion I am sure. Then at 4am you were amped and ready to go, you wanted to party. I gave you boob but then gave up and handed you off to Dad. I was soaked with leaking milk on one side and just felt like my tank was too low to party like a rock star with you. He whisked you away and the next thing I knew my boobs were aching to feed you and it was 7am. I found you guys in the rocking chair, you were asleep in his lap and he had that glazed over high on parenting look in his eyes. It’s a mixture of incredible boundless love, sheer exhaustion, and total pride. There was an empty bottle by the chair and a peaceful baby gurgling away, about to fall asleep in his lap. He had done good. So good. It was the first time you had ever taken a bottle completely from him. I think we’ve turned a corner here. Do I sense a little freedom coming our way? Meaning, a run here, a yoga class there, maybe even a date, if I could be so bold? Although it’s hard to imagine being way from you at all ever forever like for the rest of your life, I know at some point it is a necessary evolution.
I just peaked in on the two of you to make sure you both were still breathing. You are.
I don’t know why I have such a morbid vivid visual brain that wants to torture me. I don’t know if that is alcoholism or just plain idiocy, but it’s not fun and I know it drives me crazy. I run through a rolodex of the worse possible scenarios sometimes when I look at you guys and it only serves to make me feel horribly sick and confused with imagined grief.
What kind of a moron does that to herself? It must stop. I’ll get an ulcer if I don’t. I’ve just never met a love so big until I met your Dad and you.
Our meditation teacher, Jessica, tells me to ‘focus on positive’ whenever I start to do this. So I force myself to turn my imagination from potential disasters to positive images of you in the future. Like picking you up from preschool and you running into my arms, giving your valedictorian speech at high school graduation and thanking both your Papa and I for doing such a good job, then winning your elections. Of course you won’t be a Republican. That would be some twisted shit.
You both just woke up for a brief moment, only enough to each end up in the bed with me. Dad is lightly snoring on my left and you, after having some boob milk, ended up as a tree frog on my chest. Then Noodle our Labordoodle jumped up at my feet. It’s moments like these that I need to focus on. Because these are so positive they make my heart giddy up and my head tipsy with joy. I am sitting here with that silly new parent high on my face, I am sure.
I love that you love laying on me. It’s too easy for me to imagine when you won’t. I remember when I thought my Mom was everything, the whole giant big world, and she was perfect. Then she wasn’t. And it was heartbreaking. And I am almost positive there will come a time when you will see the real Oz in me, the woman behind the curtain, flaws and all, and you might be disappointed, or angry, like I was. And you might want to take it out on me, or god forbid, yourself, but I pray you don’t. I pray we have built enough of a foundation that you know how to grieve and accept and finally to forgive. Because it has taken me years to do that with my own mother, and to be honest, I’m still working on it. And I don’t want that kind of punitive tenacity between us. Ever.
You have this new thing you are doing when you wake up from naps sometimes, you look at me as if you don’t know me at all and I might be some Russian Spy in the Cold War. There is so much suspicion and doubt in your eyes. It takes you a second to remember, oh yes, I know this face. I invited her here. She’s not a crasher. Then you belch like a drunken sailor and fart like an old fisherman and things seem right in your world once again.
So the accepted definition of insanity in AA is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. I think it could also include wanting to have another child when you remember only too well the pitfalls of pregnancy, the trauma of birth, and the endurance of the first few months- of which you aren’t even half way through. So your Papa and I must be insane, because at this moment we do want another child. At some point, probably sooner rather than later because I’m no spring chicken, but just thinking about it almost makes me giddy with excitement, terror, and the possibility of even bigger love. Family. This is what family means. I don’t know if my heart can take it, it feels like it’s going to explode when I look at you and your Dad sometimes.
Like now for instance:
But your Dad and I both agreed that we sense another spirit around us, wanting to join our little nucleus, and we did say, if we found out that we were even remotely good at this parenting thing, we ought to give it another go, and I must admit, I think we are, remotely good at this parenting thing. And I was never too sure I would be. I have to say, I am slightly surprised at how much I love it. I love being your Mom. I love being Tim’s wife. With a love so fierce it fires me up and inspires me to be best I can be at all of it.
I know some women complain that having children takes away from their sense of ‘self’ or ‘me’ time, and I totally see how that is valid. However, I have spent the majority of my life exploring my ‘self’ destructively (for the most part) and having so much ‘me’ time it kind of made me sick. My entire spiritual practice at this point is to think LESS of me, and more of other. So maybe that’s why I love being a Mom and wife so much. I have so many better more interesting things to think about than just my ‘self.’ It’s kind of perfect for me. There I go again, back to me. See how easy that is?
I hope you don’t find it too strange when you wake up and see my love drunk face staring at you with a huge silly ass grin because I can’t help myself. You are too beautiful for words.
Maybe that’s why you look at me so funny, you think who is this crazy old lady? Who invited her?
You did sweetheart, when you brought your Papa and I together that fateful day a year ago.
You got this party started.
And you are no quitter. No Husom is.