Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My foundation

(I wrote this last week and hesitated to publish it, because it feels like acknowledging that I have moments when I think about what life would be like without children makes me sound ungrateful for my son, or even worse--resentful--which could not be further from the truth.  Raising an child is exhausting, draining, challenging work that requires huge sacrifices of parents.  Every so often, I need to mourn the life I could have had, so I can more fully embrace the life I am living.)

I am exhausted.  Absolutely bone-tired.  But that's not why I am writing or what I want to remember years from now.

I am writing because in spite of the tired, in spite of the child who melted down the full hour and a half before bed, in spite of feeling burnt out on staying home, in spite of being on my own with HP for the next three nights, in spite of the heat of the Texas summer rapidly descending upon us, in spite of it all, I feel full.

I have a whole post in the works about why I think my personality is suited to staying home with HP, and how much joy I get from being his mother and watching him grow up.  But then a series of events, or rather emotions, descended upon me last week and I felt burnt out.  Tired of the same thing day in, day out.  Tired of having my life constricted by an infant's schedule.  Tired of not exercising the intellectual side of my brain.  Tired of being tired.

For a brief moment, I thought we had made the wrong decision--that we should have waited to have children.  That I should have thrown myself into figuring out my future instead of diving into parenthood.  I imagined interning for a year at the non-profit farm down the road from us.  I imagined living on two incomes (the luxury!).  I imagined going out of the house without consulting a nap schedule.

True to form, Henry and I talked about it Sunday night.  At length.  And he (the ever reasonable, reassuring, steady presence in my life) reminded me that we thought hard about bringing HP into the world.  (Sweet baby, if you're ever reading this, know that you were wanted.  You were so wanted.)

Looking back it's always easy to play the "what if" game.  It is easy to sit here, comfortably in the future, and judge my past self harshly.  But if we had waited, I know I would be aching, absolutely aching, to have a child.

The details of my life have felt like mess lately.  But the foundation?  The foundation feels solid.  It is what lets me know that we made the right decision.  Yes, things would be different now if we had waited.  But that is always true, isn't it?  We aren't "doing life wrong"; we're doing life the best way we know how.

And I can't imagine doing it without these two.

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