In becoming a mother, I have become a person I no longer recognize. I depart the house on the weekends without so much as a glance in the mirror. I arrive at a destination (e.g., the mall or the park - as IF there are any other destinations at this point) only to discover: stains on my shirt and poo in my hair. I sit at playgrounds instead of Starbucks, and I scour the sale racks of the Children's Place instead of Nordstrom.
Every Friday my legal assistant asks without fail: "Oh, Meredith do you have any exciting plans for the weekend?" I look at her, over my glasses, and then, as if she realizes she broached a sad subject of conversation or stuck a fork in an electrical outlet, this look of horror overcomes her face. She recoils and says, "Oh, sorry. The mall or the park. I know. Your exciting weekend."
And she does. She's only been working with me for about six months, and she knows.
As a mother... I no longer recognize who I am, and who I have become. On Fridays, I used to enjoy sharing a giant bottle of wine with my husband, after which we'd retreat to our separate couches, where I'd write poetry or work on my latest "novel" and he'd finish up a movie on TiVo or work on his latest work project. At the end of the night, we'd retreat to goodnight together. TMI?
I used to know exactly who I was. But I must note, that in those moments of recognition, I was lost. At that time, I would declare "I am (fill in the blank - a law student, a writer, a lawyer, a photographer)." In those moments of recognition, I was a person who I did not respect. And that's the funny part.
Now, twenty pounds heavier than I "should" be and fifty pounds heavier than Hollywood would even cast someone to play the "fat chick," with body parts all over the place, all of my Citizens and Seven jeans long sold on Ebay (because, hello, they don't fit), I find myself to be more of myself than ever.
I no longer recognize myself, and for that, I am immeasurably thankful. Turns out... I didn't like myself so much. I like myself much better at the mall, with my giant double stroller, and cookie crumbs all over James, my shirt (and my face). Turns out... life is more fun with a temper-tantrum-toddler and a six-month old who poops all over her brand new bloomers. Someone without children inevitably calls bullshit on this. But, it's the truth.
Before James and Stella, I possessed a guarded nature of selfishness. And while I'm not one hundred percent certain what that means... I do know that this person I do not recognize, is the exact person I want to be. I love my James Monkey and Stella Bell more than anything/anyone in this world.
While it does not makes sense, the fact that children are such changing factors in one's life... it makes life. And life, my dear friends, may be sleepy. But it's good.