Sunday, February 06, 2011

My old life

My old life is gone, you know, and I'm okay with that. With a new baby, there's very little time to grieve the hundreds of little things I'll never, it seems, have time to do again, like go to a restaurant or see a movie (I know, everyone says we will do those things again, but that remains to be seen). Tonight, though, I'm feeling a bit soppy over the dumb, fun things I used to sometimes have the opportunity to do. I've been reading one of my favorite blogs, written by an unusually smart and thoughtful* 20-year-old college girl who bobs about going to classes and visiting yarn stores and eating in sandwich shops, and, wow, nostalgia just grips me as I do so! Tethered as I now necessarily am to the house (and for Christ's sake the Minnesota snow doesn't help), I miss a few small things, you know? I miss walking around downtown (any downtown) and popping into shops (oh, used bookstores!) to kill time, all the while wearing a cute vintage thrift-store coat, and then wandering about until I'm hungry and irritable, and stopping for a coffee and an onion bagel, and then relishing the relief of getting back home again, and taking off my shoes and picking up my knitting or a book, and cozying up next to the radio to hear the news as I knit or read or think about what to make for dinner.** Spending time alone, and having the pleasure of getting home after being (imagine!) away from the house for an afternoon -- those two things sum it all up, because that's the thing about this new life, Dear Reader: there is time for verily nothing besides taking care of my sweet little girl.*** And that's alright, and God knows I'd do it a thousand times over to keep her happy and healthy, but I will find myself remembering the unhampered flitting-about of my early adulthood. It can't be helped. In fact, I'm quite sure that a bit of fond, benign remembering of one's days of comparative liberty (and of the wearing of thrift-store coats) is a time-honored tradition among new moms, and is to be anticipated.

So many things about this new life, I assure you, make me immeasurably happy. You would not believe, for instance, how I love this baby's scent. It's quite dizzying; she just... smells like my baby. I love when she looks up at me with milk on her face, big-eyed and blissful. And how she sleeps with such sweet abandon. And even this: I hold very dear indeed the sound of angry protest Bee is capable of emitting when jostled a bit too much -- the very fact that she expresses herself so ardently and with such assuredness of her right to not be jostled. I adore it. And she smiles and laughs so easily -- a wide, toothless grin and a mirthful, hilariously voiceless laugh. I love, too, that -- for now at least -- Bee needs me, and seems so happy to see me when she wakes. So I will always be here. And someday when I can't hold her in my arms anymore, the world outside will still be waiting.

* It's because she's British, I'm sure of it! How many American college students do you know who write/think/knit like this?
** Proper dinner, not the by-the-seat-of-our-pants power meals we've been bolting down each night to, all too often, the sound of a crying baby.
*** I can blog (one-handedly) and examine the Internet while sitting up with Bee all night every night. Every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case that silver lining involves groggy blogging.


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