Sunday, January 27, 2008


The first two years of my life with a child have been punctuated by moments in which I suddenly feel “normal” again. I don’t know what that really means. Some days I think it means that I can wear blue jeans without feeling suffocated and other days it means that I am willing to leave Violet with someone else and go on a date with my husband. On bad days the "normal" bar is lowered to simply getting dressed. Then one morning I woke up with this on the tip of my tongue:

“With the birth of a child you will watch life as you know it catch fire and burn to the ground and before you’ve had a chance to mourn, something so unspeakably beautiful and indescribably profound and challenging rises up from the ashes. It makes your past appear to be nothing more than a charmingly empty curiosity.”

I use quotes because this thought sprang from my mind so completely and effortlessly that I am not quite certain it is my own. Maybe I read it or heard and didn’t process the information until I started to dream. Regardless, it is the truth. There is no return to “normal” and that's okay. Really. Yeah, I look at pictures of my skinnier, freer self and sigh sometimes, but I wouldn’t go back. There is absolutely nothing more spectacular than watching my little sponge absorb the world.  I am so much more aware of this life and what it means to be a good human because I am no longer focused on sculpting myself. I have better things to do now. My free moments are more productive. The scarcity of Me time makes it precious. My view has changed so dramatically now that I can’t even imagine what it would be like to once again fuss about being in fashion or having a trendy hair cut. Parenthood has liberated me in more ways than it has restricted me. I don't miss the trappings of life before children, but I would regret forever missing the tiny, cumulative steps that my daughter takes every day on her way to adulthood.

Normal is totally overrated.

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