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  • Here’s Your Baby Ma’am. Welcome To Adulthood.

    October 14, 2006

    The years I lobbied to be treated as an adult have blown up in my face.
    ~ Lisa Simpson

    I managed to put off adulthood until my mid-40s. Once I was handed that precious bundle of screaming, puking, pooping responsibility joy, my carefree protracted childhood lonely meaningless life came to an end. Adulthood blew up in my face in one big gush of baby blue confetti. And I’ve never been the same since.

    The first time that Sean looked up at me with those unfocused drunken eyes of infancy, the weight of the responsibility for his well-being and survival bore down upon me, and for the first time in my life I felt like an adult. And it was terribly frightening. I remember looking into Sean’s tiny face and praying, “Dear God, I’ve managed to screw up a lot of stuff in my life — I guess you already know that — but please let me get this one right.”

    Adulthood has meant that I am no longer the center of my own universe. It has sometimes meant cleaning up puke for six straight days, inspecting poop, wielding a rectal thermometer, getting only four non-sequential hours of sleep in any given 24-hour period and existing on a diet of luke warm coffee and left over chicken nuggets.

    Yet it is in the servitude of motherhood that I’ve discovered another facet in the prism of my being — a richness and depth of experience that can only be gained from dealing with someone else’s boogers. To love is to serve.

    Yes, being an adult has blown up in my face. And I could not be happier.


    1. Roxanne says:

      “a richness and depth of experience that can only be gained from dealing with someone else’s boogers”

      How true, how true. I spent all of suppertime on puke patrol from ages 15-30 months for my son. He had a particularly sensitive gag reflex, and also loved to take huge bites of food–bad combination. I cannot count the number of times I caught vomit, washed it from my hands, and sat back down to finish my dinner.

      October 14th, 2006 at 4:20 pm

    2. Jen says:

      Service does tend to do that to us. I also think it’s this reaction that allows us to let our spouses live once the shiney wears off. ;O)

      October 14th, 2006 at 7:06 pm

    3. Kvetch says:

      Never has the impact of motherhood been more aptly, eloquently and accurately described. Its not always beautiful, but it’s always amazing. Thanks for your thoughts again, A.M.

      October 14th, 2006 at 7:33 pm

    4. kacey says:

      “To love is to serve.” Amen! Don’t worry about leaving your childhood behind at forty-four — it will come around again about eighty-four.

      October 14th, 2006 at 10:29 pm

    5. Gwen says:

      Dear AM, As you know from my recent comment, I too am an AM and I recognize everything you’re saying. Being a mommy is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me(next to marrying my husband!). Also, I want to say that you are wearing motherhood well – I just saw your picture with your tattoo at Daring Young Mom and you, girl, are GORGEOUS!

      October 15th, 2006 at 12:08 am

    6. kim says:

      Best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
      Mahatma Ghandi

      I now see that this can involve boogers and barf.

      October 15th, 2006 at 8:05 am

    7. Damselfly says:

      As my friend with a baby born only three months before mine told me when my son was born, “Welcome to the club!” What was that American Express used to say? Membership has its privileges? 😉

      October 15th, 2006 at 9:10 am

    8. Leslie says:

      Yes! So true! Wonderfully written.

      October 15th, 2006 at 11:06 am

    9. Sarah's in the midst of it says:

      My sister just had her first child, and I told her that you don’t become an adult until you succumb to being others-centered. A baby is just about the best way that can happen! (And maybe the most fun way, too!)

      This is a great post:)

      October 15th, 2006 at 12:40 pm

    10. Lisa says:

      When I finally gave birth to my firstborn via c-section almost 17 years ago, I was too tired to look at her and passed out. On the way to my room several hours later, one of the nurses came out with a bundle and asked me if I wanted to see my baby. All I could think of in my head was, “No, I’m not ready for this yet” as I squeaked out that yes, I would like to see her, so as not to have them think that there was something mentally wrong with me.

      When they placed that beautiful baby in my arms, and my eyes met hers…well, I guess not many people can tell you the exact moment when their life changes forever. But I can…I was never the same person again from that second forward. What a miracle.

      …Now of course, I try to remember that moment whenever she stares at me with those eyes in hatred for uttering the word “No”.

      October 15th, 2006 at 1:36 pm

    11. Shalee says:

      “Dear God, I’ve managed to screw up a lot of stuff in my life — I guess you already know that — but please let me get this one right.”

      That is one prayer that pray ferverently over and over and over.

      October 16th, 2006 at 11:24 am

    12. GiBee says:

      Gotta love the boogies!!! And the poopies … and the vomit … etc.

      Nothing is more rewarding than being a mom!

      October 16th, 2006 at 12:35 pm

    13. Robbin says:

      I became a mom at 40, two months before I lost the career, and everything I had to show for it, in Katrina. And you know what?

      I couldn’t be happier, either.

      October 16th, 2006 at 4:53 pm

    14. Stacy says:

      Summed up so eloquently and accurately at the same time. You clearly have gifts!

      October 21st, 2006 at 1:55 am

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