I cried when I read this. Cried because even though the logistics of changing a diaper and knowing how to clean up a crib full of throw-up like what greeted me this morning, are much easier than when I was new to it all, the emotional adjustment that accompanies a complete change in one's identity is still ongoing for me. There are days when I long to feel that feigned importance of having classes to attend and a job to report to. When, simply put, everything in my life revolved around...me. And since "me" is not a very high maintenance person, not much energy was expended in keeping care of myself :) I could slide by with grocery shopping maybe a couple times a month, and live off oatmeal and peanut butter. I could put off doing laundry for as long as I dared. I could be with myself and my own thoughts without being interrupted. Yes, I know that you're probably thinking that not much has changed. And that is part of the problem, I will admit.
But what has changed is the presence of JPEG in my life. Oh how I love them. And maybe that is the other reason why I cried. Because try as I might to take mental photographs of every little moment that fills me with wonder, I know these days are fleeting. That Phineas will soon be running instead of displaying his tentative bow-legged waddle. That Ellie will soon be proficient at pronouncing "tr" instead of substituting the sound with an "f" (although, that will be less of a shock to my ears when she relentlessly yells at me to look at the "truck"). And that Gracie will not constantly be at my side gifting complements to every stranger she sees; the very compliments that I think of but have lost the child-like purity and fearlessness to voice. And even our days of living on love, with absolutely no money, might one day be a thing of the past.
And so the next time I bemoan to Jacob that my youthfulness and prime of life is wasting away in this basement apartment of ours, I will stop. Because when I am completely honest with myself, I know now that I really didn't have anything of huge importance to do before all this. I think I thought I did. And it was easy to convince myself that I was good at whatever I was doing. But now I'm engulfed in the real thing. I am not just pretending to be someone important anymore. And sometimes this scares me. But most of the time it has me laughing, crying, teaching, playing, sometimes cleaning, but mostly loving.