They say time flies when you are having fun.
This statement is clearly inaccurate. What they meant to say is, "Time flies when you have a baby."
Yesterday, Sam was an infant. Weighing in at less than 8 pounds, I was sure he'd never pass the 10-pound benchmark. Now, he's a hefty 21 pounds. He's crawling, he's whining, he's laughing, he's talking. He has three teeth, and one more on the way. He has a pint-sized personality. He gets mad. He has definitive wants. He has definitive distastes. He teases us at every meal by pretending to throw food to the dog. But when he opens his fist, it's empty. What a prankster.
And we've survived. This is the amazing part. Between colic, post-partum depression, not losing the extra 30 pounds I'm carrying around, illness, sleepless nights, dirty diapers, getting peed on, floods, fires, locusts (just teasing about the fires and locusts) and watching Blue's Clues, we've made it.
But an addendum: No one ever said how hard it was to have a baby. Now, we heard our lives would change; however, we never heard about the hectic mornings, the "oh my gosh Sam is sick who will leave work and go get him?" episodes, the wrought emotional pain that accompanies a sick child, the numbing fatigue, the panic that accompanies waking to your child gasping for breath, riddled by respiratory syncytial virus.
But on the other hand, no one ever described accurately the joy we would feel each time we think of Sam. Our days can be disasters, but, both Steve and I can stop, look at Sam's latest picture, and suddenly nothing seems as bad. Any of Sam's firsts are a shoo-in for making a day perfect. Sam's smell is heaven (well, except for when he has dirty pants). His giggle is a light breeze in an aspen grove. His kisses are wet, sloppy and wonderful. When he wraps his arms around my neck, I know, deep down, that it is I who is safe. Not the other way around. I am safe from heartache. I am safe from the world's fallaciousness. I am safe from George Bush's political errors. (Sorry. I generally try to maintain a professional level of objectiveness.)
So, we are good. After a year, we are really good. We've reached a blissful haven in our lives, and his name is Sam. It isn't always easy, and it isn't always a bowl of cherries, but it is an adventure. One that I cannot imagine missing out on. I know that I've changed. I'm more mature, not nearly as selfish and I no longer strive to spend energy on useless arguments or mundane personal affronts. My energy goes to my family. Because, at the end of the day, I want to have the pep and pluck to play with my son.
If I could offer any advice for a pregnant mother (because, when you are pregnant, you are already a mother), I'd offer this: You can't prepare yourself for the upcoming roller coaster ride. It is impossible. Just go with it. Just love it. And do your best to savor every sound, every smell and every nuance of your miraculous creation. And remember, when you are dead-tired and you think you can't go any longer, you can. And you do. And you always will.