Apparently it’s going to take me more than three months to not squirm at the “m word.” And no, I don’t mean moist.
So. I’ve been a…*cough*…a mo…*swallow*…a moth…*cough, cough*…a mothe…*ahem*…a MOTHER (there I said it!) for three months. Three months. THREE. MONTHS. (Hey, Jenny Slater.)
Also? Please don’t expect me to call Rocco “Dad.” “Dad” lives in Virginia with “Mom” on a beautiful lake where they practice the hammer dulcimer and pottery respectively. Actually, I don’t think there’s much respect involved with either of their approaches to those disciplines, but you know what I meant. Or you didn’t. Which is cool, too. Just not as cool as a tutorial on how to make unicorn poop cookies.
Notice how I used the word “poop?” And you cunts thought I couldn’t clean up my fucking language. BooYAH.
Two guesses as to how much sleep I’ve had the past several nights.
So as I was saying, Paul is finally/already three months old. I’ve been a…don’t make me say it again…for three whole months. That’s longer than I underwent chemotherapy. Truth be told, I’m not sure which three months felt longer.
Oh I know people hate it when I compare anything kid-esque to cancer. It’s always, “How can you even say them in the same sentence?” or, “They aren’t the same thing at all!” or, “But a baby is so much more rewarding and fulfilling! The prize for getting through these first few months is so much better.”
Yes, a baby is a wonderful, miraculous thing. Point taken. But not dying? Pretty damn rewarding. Pretty damn fulfilling. Saving a life is right up there with creating one in my humble opinion.
I’ve tried to stop comparing them. Really. But it’s human nature to compare things, right? I mean, you compare last night’s dinner at the trendy restaurant to the one you had last week at your favorite diner. You compare your new apartment to your last apartment. You compare your brother’s current girlfriend to the one he had a decade before. So how can I not compare the two most difficult undertakings of my life?
If even just to remind myself of the differences.
I’m exhausted. (Add a check to the “like chemo” column.) I can never decide if I’m ravenous or nauseous. (Check.) There’s all kinds of rules about what I can and can’t eat. (Check.) I have to use those plastic, old people pill organizers to keep all these meds straight. (Check.) I’m nervous about leaving the house and trying to accomplish normal people things like going to the grocery store. (Check.) We spend a lot of nights hysterically crying while seeking information on the internet. (Sigh and check.) My body is not my own. (Double check.)
But my tumor never smiled or cooed. Or if it did, it never showed up on any of the CT scans. And much like when I finished those three months of chemo, I can see some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. I’m finally starting to understand why people do this voluntarily. (Though I’m still going to need some time to wrap my brain around people doing this repeatedly.)
Ok that sounds overly harsh when I reread it. I’m glad Paul is here. Ecstatic. Just like I’m glad I fought cancer. And I would never, ever undo either of those things. I guess I’m just saying they’re both hard. Really, really hard. But the good stuff usually is.
I showed an early version of this post to Rocco who found it most unsettling. “Aren’t you worried Paul will see this some day and think we didn’t love him?” If one little post like this could ever make Paul’s doubt that he is loved and cherished, then we will have made a whole mess of much bigger mistakes. If there is one thing and one thing only I am confident I can give this child, it’s love. If it’s two things, the other will be the ability to use curse words with creativity and aplomb.
“I just didn’t realize you were having second thoughts,” was Rocco’s second comment. *sigh* I suppose this isn’t coming out right. I’m never going to be the gal that evangelizes motherhood, endlessly extolling how it saved me from a life of emptiness or some other Hallmarky bullshit. That just ain’t me. But that’s not saying I’m having second thoughts or regrets or Casey Anthony-esque thoughts. I’m in this. Hard. He is of me. My flesh. My blood. Shit y’all, I was willing to sacrifice my VAGINA for him long before I even met him. I call that committed.
I’m also committed to recycling. That doesn’t mean I’m going to treasure every moment of dry heaving while I scrub out the furry, green chunks previously known as mushroom soup that permanently attached themselves to the inside of a glass jar on the back, bottom shelf of the fridge.
After Rocco’s reaction to the post, I sent it to Mom for a second opinion. “But Paul has brought you a happiness you’ve never known, right?” So just in case there’s any doubt, I’ll say it for the record: he brings me joy. Immense, indescribable joy. Don’t make me write out all that other Lifetime Movie-esque blather that people expect moms to spout out ad nauseum, ok? Just take my word for it. You’ve seen how I dote on Mildred and SHE’S A FUCKING CAT. OF COURSE this kid is my world.
Huh. Maybe that’s just it. The source of the discombobulation. The unease. The what-the-fuck-did-I-do-what-if-this-never-gets-any-easier-and-what-if-I-never-get-to-lock-myself-in-a-room-with-a-bottle-of-wine-and-my-favorite-pen-and-and-write-until-2am-again-ness.
Paul is my world now – my entire world. I eat, sleep, and breathe him. Everything else that was before has been nullified. Everything that comes after is completely uncharted and foreign. Like…say…I dunno…when my whole world was cancer. Some things are just too big for there to be room for anything else.
And even though I know we moth….m words…aren’t supposed to say such things, I’ve just gotta. Because that’s what I would have done three months ago. Or three years ago – the last time I feared losing my voice.
….and then a friend sent me a link to this article. Throw in a tiny dash of cancer and pretend I said all that instead, ok?
In summary, it’s a good thing The Overlord is adorable. The end.