GG will be 3 in about a month, and I will be 37. Our birthdays are two days apart. I had her and two days later, I had my birthday in the hospital. The best present I got that year, besides her, was oxygen and breathing treatments (pulminary hypertension anyone?). I remember nearly every second of the first few weeks (with the exception of when I was drugged out from pain killers from my c-section) In a lot of ways, I feel as if it were a few months ago and not a few years.
I remember playing The Sims 3 (and 4) before I got pregnant and I used to get so pissed that the babies were babies for such a short amount of time. I didn’t understand then that it is a reflection of life. I honestly thought that the extremely abbreviated life stage was ridiculous. Now I am one of those women saying “it feels like it was yesterday” and (like my parents before me) “life moves so fast”. I have become that crazy lady in the mall who stares longingly at babies and new mothers and yells at them demandingly to “enjoy every moment, it goes by so fast.” They smile like I used to, thinking it seemed so far away that my kid would be walking and talking. I had so much time left!
Nothing, absolutely nothing in this entire world makes you think about mortality and time more than having a child (with the exception of near death experiences, serious illness, etc.) Having a kid really harshes the buzz of feeling invincible. Remember all the crazy times? When you had your slutty phase and slept with people you later refer to by articles of clothing, or some weird attribute, because you don’t even remember her/his first name? When you drank too much and passed out topless and the police were in your house and you never knew it until the next day when you listened to the voicemail during your prep period in your classroom at school (no? just me then, I guess). When you drove like a jack-ass and did all sorts of reckless shit? This time period felt like it would go on forever, and the fun and experimentation would never stop. You wanted time to keep rolling on quickly so you could get to the next exciting thing.
Now, all of a sudden you want time to slow the fuck down. You are extremely angry at a concept. You turn into a walking cliche’ (I can’t figure out how to put the accent over the actual “e”) that spouts walking cliche’s and the whole thing in its entirety is just maddening. No amount of being a control freak or trying to “be present in the moment” makes my kid stop growing up at lightning speed. This shit is starting to piss me off for reals.
Life has dulled my edges and I am no longer reckless. I wring my hands thinking of the day my daughter will experiment with things and go into situations she has no business being in. All of the things I shook my head at my mother doing, I am doing. I remember thinking as a teenager how codependent she was (the concept). I didn’t know the definition for codependency then, I just thought she should be less needy and less impacted by what I was doing. Insert giant guffaw here and witness God laughing her/his ass off. I am worse! I am much, much worse.