Monday, December 12, 2011

Thus Ends the Penny Drama/Growing Up

Well, after several x-rays, a less-than-successful operation, and several enemas, the penny that has haunted me for the past couple of weeks is now out of my life forever! C's x-ray this morning was completely clear of foreign bodies, meaning the penny snuck out in yesterday's diaper (despite my valiant search efforts), and I can finally breathe easily again... Until the next time my darling daughter decides to put something in her mouth!

I took the weekend off... from life. Sure, I did my motherly duties, fed and played with C, but I spent the vast majority of the weekend in my pajamas on the couch watching Criminal Minds and Law & Order: SVU marathons. I love the crime dramas because the bad guys always get caught in the end, and that gives me a warm sense of satisfaction and peace. If only real life worked out that smoothly!

Hubby and I are super excited because C's preschool is hosting a Parents' Night Out tomorrow night. Free babysitting at the school for two hours, long enough for hubby and I to go out to a nice dinner together without worrying about whether C will be quiet and cooperative. Also, I'll get to eat my food without stopping after every bite to give her a bite or to quiet her with a toy. It'll almost be like being a young, childless couple again!

We weren't prepared for parenthood when C came around. She was a happy fluke, and we were incredibly excited when we learned she was on the way, but it wasn't what we had planned. Just a couple of months prior, we had gotten pregnant and miscarried, and we decided at that time that it was for the best, that we needed a couple more years of just being the two of us before we brought in a third party. Well, I blinked twice and was pregnant again. I had planned to have a Master's degree before having a child (as opposed to now, where I'm earning my Master's while parenting full-time), to have a steady job and income, and to have traveled and seen a little bit of the world before settling down. I was a party girl, still into the club scene and bar-hopping with my girlfriends. I was still a kid. Then I was pregnant.

I thought I would be able to hold onto my youth after she was born, but then the diagnoses started rolling in, and I spent the first year and half of her life in hospitals and doctors' offices, getting bad news and then worse, facing crisis after crisis, surgery after surgery... And that ages you pretty quickly. By the time C was medically stable and I had enough time to do anything other than see another doctor, I had grown up. Too quickly, of course (isn't that always the case?).

I don't regret one moment of it. The beginning was tough, but I always got through by holding my baby in my arms and looking into her beautiful face. I miss being young, feeling young... I mean, it's not like I'm old and wrinkled now (although I do have some worry lines on my forehead, brought about by tough years of medical uncertainty), but I don't feel as vibrant and energetic as I did when I got married. I used to go out every night, and now I'm happy to curl up in pajamas under my electric blanket and watch tv in the evenings. I regained a little bit of that youthful energy while I was singing with the band, but at the cost of time with my family and an education that I earnestly wanted... Not the best trade-off.

I don't know if I've completely resigned myself to growing up yet. I still cling to certain things that make me feel young and carefree, such as dying my hair drastic colors or getting pierced or tattooed... I still want to go skydiving again, and I'm determined to go skiing one of these seasons, when I can find someone to watch C. Someday, I'll get to visit London and Germany and Ireland. Someday, I'll star in another musical or sing on a stage in front of a packed house again. I still have plenty of time to be young, to have fun, to be a little bit crazy, even. I just have to find myself a babysitter first. ;)

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