It’s amazing how your perspective changes as your kids get older. My youngest are nearly four. If they slept only six hours you would hear me scream, “MY KIDS SLEPT FOR SIX HOURS, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THEM”. My neighbor, Samantha (and let us not forget, this is her assumed name) on the other hand has a 5 month old who’s in the middle of a “no way am I sleeping and neither are you” phase. She would say “Thank God he slept for six hours”. Someone who just gave birth? “You mean someday he’ll sleep for 6 hours? IN A ROW?” You see what I mean? When your kids aren’t that age anymore it’s hard to remember what it was like. I can’t remember when babies roll over, when they eat, when they get teeth. My brain no longer requires that information so it has let it go in favor of little things like “Don’t leave the broiler on for 45 minutes with garlic bread in the oven or you WILL BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN, IDIOT!” When you think about it the ability our brains have to adapt to our lives is really amazing.
I just read a book by the author of my favorite blog, dooce.com. Her name is Heather Armstrong and her book is called “It Sucked and Then I Cried”. A couple of things about it; if you have recently had, are having or are thinking of having a baby or you have gone into labor and there is a baby hanging part way out of your snatch, you should read it. After I read it, I’m pretty convinced I had some amount of postpartum depression after the girls were born, or it could just be that it REALLY SUCKED THAT THEY CRIED FOR 12 FUCKING HOURS A DAY FOR 6 FUCKING MONTHS AND NO ONE WAS HERE WITH THEM EXCEPT ME AND THERE WERE TWO OF THEM AND THEY WERE ATTACHED TO MY FUCKING BOOBS FOR AT LEAST 12 OF EVERY 24 HOURS. I’m just saying. It got me thinking about the first months of Livi’s and Gracie’s lives, most of which I’ve totally blocked out in an effort to be able to still love and care for them. There were amazing moments of course, and I know exactly how lucky I am that all three of my kids were 6 weeks early and all of them were and are extremely healthy. I am very blessed. Right after I delivered the girls I had some complications and for a few hours I thought I’d never get to hold them or see them or teach them how to downshift in a 4x4. I thought I’d never get to kiss my beautiful boy’s nose and that he’d never get to eat sushi again. I thought that Dan would have to raise all three of them on his own. THAT really scared me, I thought my little girls would NEVER have brushed hair or pigtails and that they would grow up thinking ramen noodle soup is the same thing as chicken noodle soup (it’s so NOT). I worried that he wouldn’t let them date until they were 42 and then that no one would want to date them because they didn’t know how to comb their hair or walk in high heels. I worried that no one would teach my kids how to make really good Hagan gravy and that my mom would be too busy trying to win custody of the kids from Dan to ever teach them.
Several blood transfusions later it turns out I didn’t have to worry about any of those things, well except for the fact that they never have their hair brushed because it’s SO FLIPPING CURLY and that’s only genetically Dan’s fault. When you’re in the middle of those first terrifying months, it doesn’t matter if it’s your first time around; your brain adapts to your life now; right this minute, and sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees. I remember that I really felt like I’d never sleep through the night uninterrupted again, that I’d never go on a romantic date with Dan again, that I’d never get my life back. Slowly it happens and those problems are replaced with other problems. Better, worse? Just different. My girls are nearly four. I’ve had more fun with them in the last 6 months than I EVER thought I’d have during those first dark days (or the second dark days which lasted from 18-mos thru 40 months).
I’m getting my life back now and of course it’s better for them being in it. I was laughing today though. I have thought for MY WHOLE LIFE that my Mom is just one of those people who pee with the door open. It occurred to me recently (while trying to pee alone in the bathroom) that my Mom is NOT a person who pees with the door open. She was a Mom, like the rest of us, who COULD NOT EVEN GET THE 45 SECONDS OF PRIVACY REQUIRED TO PEE. My Mom is going to read this and think “now maybe that kid will FINALLY leave me alone while I pee”. See? Your perspective DOES change.