I’ve been blissfully adult-ing for over a decade now. The raging colors and hyped up versions of myself as a teenager have all but faded away, memories to look back on and laugh at – “Oh, how young and stupid we were.” But now, with an infant, as these short hours and long days drag forward, I find myself constantly looking backward on that rocky time in my life when I was learning to drive and counting the stars. (and totaling my father’s car.)
Now that I’m a mom, I feel young and stupid all over again. I thought I had life figured out, I thought I was the ruler of my own universe. She came along and broke all my rules, spun me in circles until I didn’t know which way was up and which was down. Slowly she is teaching me how to get my life together. She is such a patient, incredible teacher, waiting for me to catch up as I flounder through life as a parent. I don’t know what I’d do without her.
Pregnancy was a grown up version of puberty. My body was consistently doing something I wasn’t aware it could do, surprising me at every seemingly very wrong turn.
- Completely unpredictable skin. One minute I was “glowing” and the next I was watching stretch marks competing for space with the silver ones I already had from freshman year of HS. Acne, back-ne, chest-ne, everything was broken out, all the time.
- Sweat and BO from hades and that SMELLS LIKE SOMEONE ELSE. How does that even happen? It’s a head trip – mentally like snuggling with a sweaty, smelly stranger.
- My vision changed – suddenly my prescription glasses weren’t strong enough.
- My breasts burst out of every bra I owned and I couldn’t buy new ones fast enough.
- I found myself wanting the 90’s trend of tying a flannel around your waist to be back in style – it was such a functional trend for teenage girls (and apparently pregnant women as well, as they sweat through each pair of dress pants in turn, and leave ass marks on every chair.)
The Fourth Trimester. First Love.
Then I had the baby (let’s talk about something this traumatizing as teenagers another time. So, anything on the topic of being a teenager and being in love.)
- I cried all the time for no reason and all the other times for all the reasons. The emotional highs and lows were a roller coaster that I couldn’t get off of, leaving me hanging desperately on to the handrail and praying I survived the upcoming drop.
- I was hopelessly in love with someone who really didn’t know that I existed. The first time she really locked eyes with me was magical, the first smile heart-breakingly sweet. She can make my heart beat in time with her own with one cry, I’d move the very mountains for a twinkle in her eye. She turns me into a poet, a love struck, raging hormonal teenage drama queen who just KNOWS that this moment is (Has GOT TO BE) the most important moment in the world.
Months 3-5. Teenage Boys.
- Even without having to sneak beers, I was still constantly covered in slobber and/or vomit. It’s a party.
- Inappropriate noises are hilarious. The louder, the better.
- Sneaky, slightly panicky “we might get caught” sex. ’nuff said.
Now she is a little older but still certainly a baby. When I left for college I could at least claim I was legally an adult, even though I still sent dirty laundry home as packing material.
- There is always puke on my couch but at least now I attempt to clean it instead of re-arranging pillows for the fifth time.
- I am still sleep deprived but maybe not quite as badly, drinking coffee like my life depends on it.
- I’m even attempting to even clean up my intake instead of eating whatever is in the pantry. Then I don’t sleep a few nights and find myself eating bagels and daydreaming about vending machine pop-tarts.
- I cherish the little things, like peeing alone, because I know that it won’t last much longer.
- I find myself listening to the Shins more often than not, and for some reason every time I feed her solids I catch myself thinking about the movie Garden State.
- I stare longingly out the window like a kid in a classroom, watching the warm summer breeze move through the trees as I am held hostage by a small, tyrannical ball of chubby cheeks and gummy smiles.
- I’m a little scared. A lot excited. I know that I’ll never be ready for what tomorrow may hold, but am perfectly okay with the anticipation. I see how amazing the future will be.