We sure can get sloppy about living our comfortable lives, can’t we? I feel like I’ve crossed over an invisible threshold into some kind of exclusive hard knocks club. It’s a little like when Neo discovered the Matrix, only instead of a machine-made digital infrastructure, I now know that life can sucker punch you so hard it’s impossible not to expect another blow at any moment.
I delight in so much goodness all the time. Right this moment, I can hear my husband headphone singing along to The Decemberists, the house is otherwise quiet and warm and cozy. The kids are creatively occupied, the baby sleeping his snuffly newborn baby sleep. It’s just an easy-going snapshot of any Saturday night. I do not overlook the good stuff, and there is a lot of good stuff.
So don’t think I am complaining. Don’t make the mistake of assuming I have lost sight of gratitude and gladness. But considering that it’s always a transition to adjust to life with a new baby, how much do you suppose we’re adjusting now? I don’t want anyone who has never experienced something like this to tell me that I’m doing it wrong. Because, the thing is, we aren’t getting back to normal here. It’s not a matter of soldiering through sleep deprivation and hormonal fluxation and then, clap hands, it’s same old, same old. No, we’re suddenly playing a brand new game with a whole new set of rules. I’m doing the best I can.
I predict that we will find some familiarity in this new normal at some point. I guess I won’t always feel like an imposter in doctor offices, like a faker for walking around town as if everything’s peachy. Three and a half weeks into this (“this” being the actual, important LIFE of a PERSON, not a finite trial to get through) and I certainly don’t feel familiar with any of it yet.
There’s a part of me, the visceral mama part, the fiercest and feelingest something inside of me, that wants to spirit my little family to someplace safe and far away. I want to forget everything I’ve learned lately and pretend that I can just love my baby better. I want to keep anyone from ever cutting my tiny boy open or apart. I want to preserve every bit of him and protect him from hurting. It’s very hard to be in the world when your brain keeps shouting GO! RUN! Take him away from all these people who will never understand!
I know I won’t always feel so wrung-out and raw. But even as we grow more accustomed to this sweet boy and all of his challenges, I won’t ever have the luxury again of not seeing how ridiculously fragile we all are. It’s amazing that any of us are here, really.