Back before I had the little person in my life, I had concocted an idea of what it would be like to have a kid/be a mom. The concoction fit well with all the other things I had going on. You know, I could take the baby to work, still carry on the way I was carrying on, and everything would be dandy and unchanged - except I'd be blissfully happy all the time.
You know how people say to you that your life changes a lot when you have kids, and they say it in this kind of "you have no idea what you're getting yourself into way"? I used to scoff at those people because I was sure nothing could get in my way. Now I am one of those people, because it is so incredibly true: having a kid changes everything. And why? I'm going to say that it's the biggest emotional and spiritual shift I've ever felt: to be responsible for another human life every second of every day, for many years to come. It changed my relationship to everything.
For months I have felt very split, very conflicted, very unsure of how to do it all. The all being: take care of Cedar, take care of myself, run my business, feed my marriage, make soup, eat soup, pay bills, run errands, and also have a creative outlet. It is my way to think that I can do everything, and essentially, have it all.
But really, what is this all I am attempting to achieve? Where did it come from, and why am I so hard-pressed to live up to its expectation of me?
I made it, folks. I made that all. I made it so long ago that I didn't even realize it was following me around, tapping me on the shoulder, and not cutting me any slack. I've finally spun my heels around and am taking a look at this annoying creature who expects me to be this Superwoman.
I created an identity I could never humanly be. What a ripoff.
Everything I need to learn from life is coming straight from Cedar these days, and he doesn't need me to be a Superwoman. He just needs me to be his mom.
He is the most wise and patient teacher I have ever had, and best of all, he has no idea of his impact. Sure, he screams and whines and does all that baby stuff, but it pales in comparison to his zest for life (he goes down the slide head-first, I kid you not), his unabashed jolliness, and his fascination with the simplest things.
Where is it I feel I have to go, who is it I think I have to be, when the very most important thing of all is looking through the kitchen cabinets with Cedar? It's humbling, especially when the thrillseeker in me wants to get out in the world and scratch something together. It's humbling to realize that the only place I really need to be is on my kitchen floor, strumming a ukelele with dried avocado on my jeans.
The more I acquire, the more I want to shed. All these things amount to nothing when faced with my true self in the eyes of a baby. I mean that, and not in a granola way. This is some powerful stuff. This is what it's all about.
It's messy, it's wonderful, it's maddening, it's mind-numbing and hilarious. It's frustrating and rewarding, and sour and sweet. I wouldn't trade it for anything else. And well, I couldn't even if I wanted to :)