Monday, January 31, 2011

Be Specific

I've decided that it's not the millions of "just you waits" and "just remember to cherish its" (while I'm teasing spit-up out of my hair) that I've heard in the past 8 or 9 months that bother me so much. Sure, it seems completely counterintuitive for everyone to congratulate you on your pregnancy and then warn you that your life is now completely ruined. But it's more that no one is very specific about what it is I am waiting for or exactly how much cherishing I should be doing. It's just this vast, generalized unknown fear that parents lay upon each other with the best of intentions but an overwhleming lack of clarity. It's like when my husband tells me my boobs look huge. I know that what he MEANS to say is, "Man you look beautiful and I'm lucky to be married to someone I'm so attracted to." His delivery just sucks. And because of that, I can typically look at him and say, "Thanks so much, hun." It took a good deal of therapy to get to that point.
New parents simply can't understand what "just you wait" and all the similar warnings mean. Now that Abe is a little bit older and a little more sturdy, I see what they were all trying to say. So I'm going to try and translate:

You should cherish them when they're little. Sure you should. But know that if even ONCE during the first month you take a moment and truly realize just how tiny and beautiful your baby is, that counts as "cherishing". You're allowed to feel miserable the rest of the time.
Just you wait, you'll never sleep again. It's true, you aren't going to sleep very well for a while. And if you get my kid, it'll be 5 months and counting. But it's not like before when you couldn't sleep. It's waking up in the middle of the night to see a person you MADE. Way easier.
Cherish your freedom. It's over when your child is born. I don't know about you, but I'm free to take my kid anywhere I go. I have yet to see a sign that says, "No babies allowed."
Just wait until he starts crawling/walking/fill-in-the-blank. Now I can't speak for all the milestones, but I can tell you that every single one of them is awesome and exciting. And your life changes with every single one. I remember the first time Abe screamed when I walked away, as if he actually wanted me around. I did a double take and asked, "Who, me?" Don't dread the milestones.
Cherish your time with your partner now because it'll be gone when baby gets here. It's true, my husband and I do not go out to dinner weekly anymore. But we do order out and bring it home. We also lay on our bed every night with our naked son and laugh hysterically together at how much he loves life sans clothes.
Just you wait. It goes by so fast. Your child will learn at an unfathomable rate. Literally overnight he/she will learn to do something you thought was weeks, even months away. Sometimes it's hard to keep up with it all, but don't worry: if you miss something, there's another something right around the corner.

So just you wait, new parents. Your life will completely change and yet stay inexplicably the same. My husband looked at me tonight and said, "I just love every single minute with him because it's always something new." He's right. Don't "just you wait!" Enjoy this minute right here. It's the most beautiful minute of your life so far.

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