Thursday, July 3, 2008

self portrait, with baby

It's funny how having a baby transforms you. You expect the change, see it coming, plan for it - and still - it sweeps you off your feet. You try to listen to people when they warn you what it's like, but most of what people say is crap.

"You'll never get to go out anymore."
"Conversations with your spouse will only be about the baby."
"You can kiss all of your free time goodbye."

Oh, please. We never liked going out anyway; we've been looking for a good excuse to stay home since the dog grew out of puppyhood.

The real change, the one that matters, is the one that comes when you say "momma wants you to go to sleep" instead of "I want you to go to sleep." I try to keep myself from doing it, but I slip up often. I'm in third person now, not just a person - a concept. I'm somebody's mom.

The biggest surprise is that I'm no longer the most important person in my life. Maybe there's a similar transformation when you find your life partner - but this one is different. This little human relies on me for everything - food, shelter, love - while Dave was really sick, he told me that at one point he and Gus were in a doctor's waiting room, and Gus was upset. He didn't want to be in the stroller or the sling or wherever he was, and Dave had to walk around to keep him quiet. For those 5 minutes it took to calm him down, he was able to almost forget how sick and awful he felt. The number one thing he wanted to do was make the baby feel okay - and he felt sorry for having to bring him to the doctor's office in the first place. That change, that ability to forgo your own needs - that change from "I" to "we" is the one of the most surprising things about the last few months.

We're connected, li'l Gus and me and Dave. We're a trio, a little family of three. And that's pretty neat.

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