My kid turns four today. Four. Four years.
I know where every freaking second of those four years went. Colic. Temper tantrums. Sleep deprivation. Vomit cleaning. Potty training.
And the laundry. All that fucking laundry.
Four years without writing. Or sleeping. Or bathing regularly. Or going to movies. Or traveling. Or seeing friends. Or even simply walking out of the house with only a cellphone.
Four years since I’ve been to an art museum. Or a rock show. Or a play.
And yes, I know it didn’t have to be this way. I’m not blaming Paul, or Rocco, or anyone else. Honestly, I don’t even really blame myself. While there are a zillion other mothers out there who manage to juggle all the craziness of child rearing with grace and dignity, I am not them. Not even close.
I am a hot mess.
Have you ever cried so hard you forgot to breathe, totally consumed by the simple act of crying? But then your body started panicking and gulping for air and so you found yourself gulping for air, willing yourself to remember how to inhale? But how could you possibly inhale while weeping?
Too dramatic an analogy. Hang on…
Have you ever tried to write a song while listening to Twisted Sister? You can’t. Your brain is too busy processing “Come On Feel the Noise” to pick a different chord progression.
Nope. Too simplified.
Apparently I don’t have a good analogy. But I’m pretty sure after I’ve already posted this thing, I’ll come up with a dozen or so examples of things that fully consume a person to the exclusion of any other facet of that person. My point is, I’m still figuring out how to do ANYTHING else while parenting.
And I will. I know I will.
But for now, I’m proud of these four years. They were hard. They were informative. And they were unexpected. And I’m proud of the work that I’ve done.
I may not be a graceful parent. But I’ve finally come to terms with that.
It only took me four years.
Happy Birthday, my love. To you and your wiggly strawberry butt.
(Forgive Rocco’s cinematography. The little dude is camera shy.)
Updated: LIKE SWIMMING LAPS!! You can’t very well carry on a conversation or check your cell phone while you’re swimming laps. I suppose you can still pee, though. Which makes this analogy even better because I have definitely peed in the last four years.