Monday, December 04, 2006

Green Nails

As more and more of my friends, neighbors, colleagues and associates announce that they are happily expecting, I've been been reflecting on being pregnant. I've decided that my pregnancy was a hike in the gently rolling hills while motherhood is a rock-climbing adventure. In my very-average pregnancy I experienced physical, mental, emotional and spiritual changes that were life-altering, but they happened more gradually than the changes motherhood throws my way.

It is true that pregnancy offers many uncontrollable aspects (Is it a boy or girl? When and how will I go into labor?) but the baby on the inside was a little easier to control than the baby on the outside. Not that Jeep is harder or easier than your average 17 month year old. But when he was inside, even though I couldn't make him eat or sleep or play happily by himself "for a couple of minutes so Mama can go to the bathroom," it didn't really matter because he was inside and I could usually manage to eat or sleep or go to the bathroom in peace. Of course I knew that once my baby arrived I wouldn't be able to eat or sleep or use the bathroom the same way I did before. But having a child has changed the way I do those things as well as every single other thing in my life. And at the same time that I'm trying to operate my life in a whole new way, I'm in an intense relationship with a fascinating person who changes even more quickly than I do - my son.

Today when I picked Jeeper up from his Montessori school, I noticed that he had splotches of green on his hands and under his fingernails. I got a lump in my throat because that green paint residue was a quick and clear reminder that he isn't a baby anymore. He walks and runs and talks on the phone and plays jokes and operates the velcro on his shoes and expresses himself creatively with art supplies. Sure he still wears diapers, nurses and cries sometimes, but make no mistake, he is rappelling his way right into kid-town. And I'm just along for the wonderful and wild ride.

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