Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The birth of a mother

Yesterday Alena, Alivia, Trace and Alysse welcomed their fourth cousin into the world. Kolten Reese got cheers at the lunch table as I announced he had been born just minutes earlier.

They instantly started asking how to spell his name and when they could go see him and if they would be able to hold him. I was instantly reminded of how my life changed on September 20, 2004.

Pre-September 20, 2004, or maybe nine months before that, I wore fashionable clothes and trendy heels. Topics most needing my attention were where Jason and I could eat dinner on Saturday night or what bar everyone was meeting at for happy hour. I created not-to-shabby web sites from concept to surfing, and had computer knowledge exceeding your average Joe's. For the most part, I did what I wanted, when I wanted and how I wanted.

And while I was somewhat aware of the changes to come (for some reason even strangers feel the need to warn a pregnant woman of what's ahead), I wasn't prepared for the end of my old life and the start of my new one.

The very instant I heard her cry, the office politics, impending social calendar and things I thought I wanted to do held no priority in this new life I had found in the flash of an eye (or rather a few pushes). At 11:20 a.m. everything else ceased to exist.

From that very precise moment, everything would be different, including my heart. And so it played out again on October 24, 2005 and February 19, 2007 (twice, actually).

Fast-forward four years, and t-shirts now make up 99% of my wardrobe, my feet know no other shoes than Crocs and I have been known to go weeks (months?) without putting on make-up.

In my world, Red Box video rental machines are the greatest invention since the car, McDonald's is the "it" restaurant in town, and happy hour is spread out over the two plus hours it takes me to drink a glass a wine (that's if it doesn't get knocked over). I'm not ashamed.

In this new life, I've found time praising preschool artwork to be a better use of time than glossing my lips. In this new life, I'd rather wipe snot from a little nose on the free t-shirt Jason snagged from Symantec than my Ralph Lauren sweater (though, it's been known to happen). In this new life, I'm probably unemployable in the technology sector, but a daycare's most qualified prospective new hire.

While I don't know what an RSS feed is and I couldn't tell you what version of Cold Fusion web sites are being programmed in (are the kids still using that?), I'd bet I can potty train your 20-month old; put to sleep any tired, crying baby; and detect a fever sans thermometer.

Although some might surmise I've given up too much of myself, and instead of trading one life for another, I should have tried harder to meld the two, I'm at peace with where I'm at in my life (which doesn't necessarily mean my life is always peaceful). This place I find myself, while sometimes tantrum-filled with a little poop thrown in for good measure, is exactly where I should be.

I've gained the perspective of knowing there will be other Sugarland concerts to see, dinner dates to make and pedicure appointments to schedule. This new life offers so much more.

There are no re-dos in this business. Infant toes turn into walking toes which turn into flip-flop wearing preschool toes. A screaming newborn grows to be a cake-squishing one-year old who grows to be a four-year old who doesn't always need to hold your hand. No rewinds, no pauses, no stops. This is it, my single chance at this new life.

Welcome Kolten to this crazy cousin clan you've inherited, and thank you for the take-my-breath-away reminder of how, in a newborn-taking-her-first-breath moment, my life was forever changed.

1 comment:

Gina said...

I remember you once saying, "I think better with lipstick on."

So funny!

I adore you with and without gloss. :)