I am pretty tired today.
I've been battling some sort of allergy attack cum friend's cold that I just realized today was actually going around. As much as I am sure the homeopathic nose spray I sometimes use --and my God-given paranoia-- has been helping, it sometimes behooves me to accept an undeniable truth:
It is cold season, and it won't be pretty. Is it ever?
So as I was racking my brain trying to figure out
1) what to make for dinner;
2) what to write about here;
3) why some people are such assholes that, when I took a pretty nasty fall yesterday evening in the full view of a well-dressed man and his wife, both pretended that nothing had happened and moved on without so much as a supercilious glance in my direction;
4) why I am so tired all of a sudden;
5) why people insist it is spelled "all of THE sudden";
6) and finally, what to write about on here, yet again.
And then in my inbox was a nice email from the author of a blog I enjoy reading, called MamaBlogga. If you're a mother who blogs, you would do well to check out this blog --it has interesting articles about blogging and networking and it also features a monthly group writing project, which is something nice to be a part of if you would like a writing challenge and exposure for your blog.
And then, I breathed a little easier despite the dismal strains of NPR in the background.
This month's group writing project is on what makes me most grateful about my children. Or, well, child: Herr Meow, soon to be two.
Right off the bat, this is not an easy prompt.
I apologize to those of you who do not have children and therefore have (circle one) [no idea about/little interest in/a confirmed aversion to/a full-blown documented case of the hives when it comes to/a hideous dread of] the children topic.
I used to be a little --or nay, a lot like you-- not too long ago.
I would look upon mothers and children and would shrug and go about my day.
I would roll my eyes impolitely when people would foist unprompted little wallet-sized pictures of fat children posed awkwardly on sheepskins and letter blocks, or bawling pitifully while on Santa's lap.
I would walk into Gymboree and instead of feeling the biological clock rage out of control or hearing the banshee wail of my American Express, I would shamelessly ask the salesladies if the rain boots or the cap with the teddy bear ears came in my size (hint: next time, try GapKids).
And whenever kids behaved like kids, I'd try to block them out. Even though I have worked with kids of many ages, I always gravitated to the older kids --"more human" I actually called them.
I guess you could say I was not a kid person.
I'm still not.
I still peer with mild irritation at most kids' pictures shoved in my face (especially if the kid is not cute).
I still bristle at kids I don't know.
I still try in vain to see if things will fit at GapKids --though I have been forced to acknowledge that age more than size is the true deterrent in buying girlish fashions.
And I still roll my eyes at kids being kids.
Because, you know, this wouldn't be a heart-warming entry of gratitude and gushing feelings if this didn't have a "but", I must tell you this: having a child has been, for me, a massive emery board, filing away at the sharp, hard, judgmental aspects of my personality.
(personality range: from acerbic to bitchy in ten seconds flat)
Having a child has been a catalyst of an empathy I thought was only reserved for doing stupid stuff like bawling my eyes out at the end of My Dog Skip.
Having a child has shown me that it is possible to love someone so much that you scare yourself with the unbridled violence of those feelings. It's realizing that you can and will actually kill if someone were to attempt to harm your baby.
Having a child is repeating to yourself the immortal words of Uncle Ben Parker and suddenly realizing how deep, sad, and sweet they are.
Having a child is realizing that you can be SO VERY PISSED OFF AT HIM THAT YOU CANNOT EVEN BREATHE YOU ARE SO DAMN MAD.... and still love that little --or not so little-- person so much it hurts. Which, you know, makes it doubly painful.
Finally, having a child is hard work, no sleep, premature aging, far too many secretions (most of which are not yours), and not enough time to carry on with your life.
Your former life, that is, which from this child-ful distance seems so oddly selfish and devoid of joy and true love. And so you give thanks for this life, which despite the bone-tiredness that clings to you like a film, is really that good when it's good. And even the tiniest smile can make it good.
The best? A full-body baby laugh-- possibly the most wonderful, satisfying sound in the world.