There is a reason James Taylor goes to Carolina in his mind. I was pulling out of the neighborhood this morning heading to work and I realized I really need to stop and smell the … leaves?
I had forgotten this part of pregnant. The part where when a person says “Ohh, only ten more weeks, so, are you excited?” and you want to claw out their eyes. And just once, just one time you want to answer honestly.
“No. No, I am not excited at all. I think this was the worst idea I have ever had. Ever. I do not want to be pregnant ANY more and I really, really don’t want a baby. I am tired now. Today. And I slept for ten hours last night. So, no. Excited doesn’t really describe how I feel right now.”
At least this time around I am not at the hospital. Pregnant. Working at the hospital, I’d walk in to at least a dozen rooms every morning and be asked that question. “So, are you excited?” Typically two of those rooms would have a glowing new mom and her infant. And like Morales in A Chorus Line I’d dig right down to the bottom of my soul, and I’d feel nothing.
This time I know. I know I will fall in love. And I know that this is normal. But I also know that I won’t be overtired for just a few more months. I probably won’t be sleeping through the night again for many months. I will be nursing a baby for years if all goes as I hope. I will be sharing my body with this baby until I am closer to 40 than not. And it will be worth it. But the lack of experience the last time I felt this way, it afforded me a certain comfort. I thought “a baby” would be something that I had. Something that made me a mother. But I had no idea that it would be who I was. And even if I had known … I didn’t have an identity that fit me, anyway. My marriage was struggling. Our restaurant was struggling. I felt like a square peg in a round hole most of the time. I’d have welcomed a new identity.
But now. I have barely gotten used to being MQD’s wife. I still snicker and smile when I say “Oh, that is my husband’s phone number” to the woman on the other end of the phone line at a utility company. I haven’t cross stitched a damn thing for this baby. Because I have been unpacking boxes and raking leaves and making a home. And loving every minute of it. I have a kindergartner. This spectacular little girl that I enjoy shooting the shit with. That thinks Ladies’ Night is the best damn thing on Earth because she adores me. And all of these days… moments really, when I am just a wife. Just a new homeowner. Just Em’s mom. They are numbered.
Soon, I will be a New Mom again. And “am I so excited?” Well, no. Sometimes I am angry. Sometimes I am sad. Because I fought hard to get to right here. And I’ve just barely had a chance to slow down and enjoy it.
So, that’s what I am gonna try and do. Mr James Taylor and I will be in Carolina in our minds if you need us. Just looking around. Just soaking it up. Just trying to be. Because before I know it, I will be a new mom. And MQD’s wife. And Harriet Homeowner. And the host of Ladies’ Night.
I can feel the sunshine. And hell, in about a year I will be able to feel the moonshine. Heh. All in due time.
Everything is much more exciting with the first one, but it’s scarier too. Also, I think if you’re less freaked out that you have a human to take care of (for, like, ever) as I was the first time, it’s a lot easier the second time. My son is much more chill than my daughter. He did everything faster because he watched. And #2 will watch everything and he’ll pick it up. You’ll have another kid who will adore Em as much as she adores you. Em will get a promotion because she’ll no longer be the littlest. She will have someone to care for and read to and boss around. The second time, I was not as excited, because I had done it before. But it’s all a little bit different and all a little bit the same. Try and enjoy it, and as the second child, try and treat that second kid just as awesome as you treat your first. (Though we have it a little easier since Mom and Dad have had practice this time around.)
Oh, how I love James Taylor. And Carolina in my Mind is one of my all-tme favorites. That and Sweet Baby James.
You are looking great, mama. Soak it all in because everything seems to go so much faster with two.