A friend asked me a day or so ago if I felt like we had gotten everything done that we wanted to do before having a baby.
You know, I really don’t know. I don’t know that I even appreciate the context of the question because there’s no way to quantify what one hopes to do in the face of what one has. Being a glass-full kind of girl, I tend to focus on how well everything is going and often find myself rapturously declaring that we’ve got ourselves a fine little life here. There’s a saying to the effect of, it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to what happens that characterizes who you are (seriously paraphrased there) and I think about that quite a bit. I like the notion that life is a series of opportunities, choices, and challenges that I wake up for every day. Drew and I have been given a lot, and without being overly boastful, I think that we’ve made the most of those gifts. I think. So we’ve got some of the biggies crossed off the list: we’ve traveled abroad, across country, in tents and hotels, we’ve climbed some pretty amazing mountains, bathed in a number of the world’s oceans, tackled pragmatism and sorrow, elation and the mundane…we’ve got an impressive costume resume under our collective belt, we’ve probably spent a good 50 hours of our relationship dancing together, we end most days together, saying goodnight as we turn out the light, we’ve traveled along the east coast reading out loud to one another and run through a wooded trail escaping a rabid pack of man-eating bees. We’ve lived with and without, but really always with, and above all we’ve always known that how we’re doing this life is our choosing. What a blessing, to have choice. So I am still thinking about this question, the earnest way that it was asked, and the impossibility of answering it. Would we like more adventures, more books read, more parties attended, more silent mornings and long peaceful weekends, more car-window-down kind of afternoons and impulsive fits of over indulging in sushi and wine? Um, yeah. I guess what has me stumped about this question is the assumption that life comes to a screeching halt when you create a child. Now, now, take it easy…I know that we’re in for the biggest changes of our lives here in the coming weeks and years, but I don’t see an existence of burlap, khaki and water on the horizon. I know that it’s all changing, but who’s to say that change equals the. end. of. life. as. we. know. it.? We don’t know what this future lives with our future selves and this future child will be like, but it will still be dictated by those reactions. Our choices.
Now of course, you are all welcome to talk to me about this when I’m crying my eyes out with a 5-week-old who isn’t sleeping and I’m feeling like a milk machine desperate for a shower and 4 consecutive hours of sleep, but seasoned back-packers would have warned Drew and me about a somewhat similar fate (sans the baby and the milk woes, of course) as we set out for Utah’s national parks all those years ago, and once we knew that we were going to survive, that became a favorite adventure of ours. And so now it occurs to me that the answer is probably not found in whether or not we’ve done it all, but whether we’ve figured out that we can do pretty much anything if we have spit to decide to do it. Yes, I suspect that we will say that nothing has been the “same” since having a child, but isn’t that what we signed up for? You seasoned parents out there may be laughing at these novice ramblings of mine, but perhaps my innoncence-is-bliss mentality is what is about to save our hides. Perhaps. We’ll see. It’s our next adventure.