Sunday, March 13, 2016

Who you become

Day 13 of 31 at TWT!
"Ben te ha enviado una foto." I swipe my finger across the screen to access my messages. Two blurry black and white blobs fill the screen, and my heart is suddenly ready to burst. The whole world freezes as I stare at my phone. My best friend is going to have a little sweetie!!!

Bouncing in my seat, I recklessly interrupt whatever my husband and my parents are talking about. "Ben's going to have a baby!!!" I pat Husband's leg and smile over at Little Sweetie, remembering the whirlwind ten months of joy and learning we've had since she decided she was too excited to wait the last three weeks until her due date. She babbles in her highchair, squealing with delight at her toys, the window, the TV, my parents, and the other patrons at the restaurant. So much joy.

Before we had her, I was never a fan of babies. What weird little monsters! Everyone else seemed to love them, but why? They were always crying, spitting up, dribbling snot and spit everywhere, and needing their diapers changed. While everyone else ran to coo and play with a baby, practically knocking each other over for chances to hold it, I was the one backing away to watch from a safe distance where I wouldn't have to worry about if it would like me, if it would start crying, or if it would spew nasty germs all over me. And they were so floppy! How did everyone just know how to hold them? They were like strange little aliens. 

Sometimes there would be a lady with a baby in a waiting room or parent meeting, and it would be pulling her hair, touching her face, squirming and getting fussy. That poor lady! She can't even concentrate! And it's probably like that allllll daaaay lonnnng! How does she get anything done? 

When I saw that all-important word on that blue stick, I cried happy tears as I hugged Husband in the kitchen. But the closer her due date came, the less I could imagine myself with one of those weird, squirmy, crying things. A baby! What was I thinking?! We weren't going to get any sleep! How would I get my schoolwork done? I barely had any energy by the end of the day anyway... how on earth was I going to entertain and care for a baby after an exhausting day of teaching? Besides, I didn't even like babies! Would I still be myself if I became a mom? Who would I become?

And then, ten month ago, she was born, and I had never seen anything so perfectly amazing or so exquisitely adorable.  I learned to take care of myself, to take care of her, and to feel a whole new kind of love. I learned why everyone loves babies, why those ladies didn't mind the hair-pulling and wiggles, and why all my friends with kids had been beside themselves when I got pregnant. There's nothing in the world like a baby to make your life better in ways you never even imagined. There's nothing like a baby to help you become your best self.

So congratulations, Ben, and welcome to the luckiest club in the world. You can't possibly dream of what's ahead. I don't know who your little sweetie will be, but I know who you will become, and I'm so happy for you.
Husband is a wonderful dad, and I know Ben will be too!


  1. Your post made me laugh! I was one of those people pushing others out of my way to hold a baby. Now I have to fight my tween to hold babies. Ha! I'm glad you now know the joys of babies!

  2. Nearly this entire week I've read and written posts about perspective, but this is the best, Jennifer. You just don't understand until the baby comes, do you? And then the snot & drool & poop is just something that your baby does, & isn't that wonderful? Glad you are happy again because of your friend, & yes, you do know who he'll become. Such a wonderful reflection.

  3. Reading this gave me goosebumps. I understand all those worries before baby and the joys after baby. I loved you shared your inner most fears before becoming a mom, but also how everything in your life changes for the better when you have a little sweetie of your own. So happy for you Jennifer (and of course husband, too.)


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