Tuesday, May 1, 2012

humble pie

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.  
- Roald Dahl
 While pregnant with Julia, Charles and I attended birthing classes, which not only opened my eyes to the fact that this baby was indeed going to enter this world somehow, but also provided some interesting and unexpected education.  We were privileged to witness some other childbirth attendees who proved that just about anyone is capable of becoming a parent.  This includes the guy who thought that it would be cool to yell out "cervix" like we were in 7th grade health class whenever the instructor asked a question.  Yes, he was the one who was later found to have a house arrest ankle bracelet - an accessory that he wore proudly.  I assumed that everyone who was interested in committing to childbirth class (and on a larger scale, parenting) was soft and sentimental about the upcoming birth of their first child.  While being hysterically entertained by our classmates, we also took in some other important information - you know, the basics: breathing, the role of your partner during labor, the importance of taking time to work on your relationship with your spouse...basically everything that goes completely out the window with the onset of the contractions.
Each week after class, Charles and I (sometimes along with our friends, Jared and Shana who were due a month later) would sit around a table eating fried pickles and enjoy a commentary on how we were definitely going to turn out okay as parents.  The other day I found myself contemplating some of the lessons learned during our blissful preparation as I tried to explain the value of childbirth class to a newly expecting friend.  As I described our experience, I suddenly felt the need to recapture that time with Charles in some small way.  I have no need to go through all of that again, but it was high time for a date night.  It was much needed for many different reasons.  These nights are the ones that we promised ourselves before we had children - the ones that we said would never fall to the back burner.  I would have been horrified at myself if I knew that I wasn't getting to this whole "date night" priority for months at a time.
We finally did it - we went out to our favorite restaurant, ate all of our favorite things and talked about everything except for our children.  My husband said funny things and I laughed with him the way that I did when we were first dating.  I felt like such a liberated adult.  I was starting to feel recognizable again as someone who can pull off parenting and marriage and family and everything that comes with it while still retaining a little kick of my 20-ish year old self.
Then I happened to look down only to notice that I was wearing 2 different shoes.  Really? Two different shoes?  Much of my cute, date-night confidence was zapped in that moment.  Of course, in all situations I am always brought back to the planet earth.  
I ordered up my humble pie for dessert.  
This is my everyday. With the best of intentions I am late for everything, no matter how fashionable I try to be, my clothes are always coated in someone's lunch, thoughtful dinnertime prayers are typically spiced up with Julia's thoughts-of-the-day, gourmet dinners are mixed with way to much ketchup, phone calls involving precious conversations are cut short as I rush to the latest catastrophe, my workout turns into an hour negotiating with Julia to sit in the stroller, my comfortable bed is abandoned for the chair in Charlie's room after another sleepless night.
I have lately determined that there is no preparation for this stuff.  Maybe I should have gotten off my high horse and realized that Cervix-Boy and I were in the same boat.  I may have jumped into parenting with a level head and a bit more planning under my belt, but when it unfolds, much of it goes out the window.  I wish that part of the childbirth classes included a topic on the fact that things will never again go as planned with an added emphasis on not taking things to seriously.
Life happens here.
It happens in the moments when not all of the toilet paper is on the roll and seltzer cans line up my coffee table in an effort to build the "largest castle in all the land!"   I can laugh at the fact that my wardrobe often matches this chaos.
Date night wouldn't feel complete without it. 


  1. And this is why I could not blog... I just can't live up to your way with words. Love you so big! XOXO

  2. This was so great to read. Thank you for helping me prepare for the wild world I'll be entering. :)