One of my friends, ege, another new mom, recently asked if I remembered when my clothes didn't double as kleenexes, and the question got me thinking about all the things I remember that are now just a part of the past. Here are just a few: sleeping in; sleeping through the night; not thinking about the accessibility of the clothes I am wearing (for breast feeding, that is); leaving the house with just a purse; going to restaurants and asking for the first available table; being able to head to the restroom whenever I wanted; not thinking twice about slowing down for yellow lights or stopping at stop signs while driving; sitting down and taking as long as I wanted to write an email; and traveling with just one carry-on.
Of course, I also do a lot of things I never did before, things that I would never have thought would be all that much fun, such as sit for many minutes giggling at a baby; thank random strangers for the (clearly deserved) compliments they give said baby; write endless thank you notes for the (much appreciated and also deserved) gifts less random people give said baby; think long and hard about the merits of products for said baby; congratulate said baby on his pooping skills; commiserate with said baby when those skills fail him; and steal moments when said baby is sleeping to write all about him.
Jacob is two months old yesterday, and these are just a handful of the ways in which my life is completely different now, in rhythm, in tone, in content, even in language. Sure, life was easier before, so much so that I didn't even notice how easy it was, but life really is richer now. There is more pathos, certainly; checking to make sure your baby is breathing is its own special kind of torture. But there is also more joy, in small moments, in the early hours of the morning, in times such as those when you realize the baby isn't really sucking any more and look down to find him happily smiling up at you (with, it has to be said, nipple still in mouth), waiting patiently for you, the center of his world, to notice him and realize he is the new center of yours.