Something happens to me in the springtime. I get giddy; I get dreamy. I read other people’s tweets, their links to their work, their self promotions, and I think about all that’s possible, all that’s ahead. I want to do everything. I can do anything. Can’t you smell it in the wind?
This week I burst into tears when I watched a slow-motion video of my baby girl laughing. Throughout the days now my husband, the reluctant texter, sends me photos and gifs and updates on our girl, on their days together. They teach me things. I study my girl’s expressions intently when I’m taking a pump break in the basement of my office, in a sterile room that so many other women have used. I bring my laptop with me each time, ostensibly to get some work done, but mostly I find myself swiping my phone back and forth, up and down, staring at her. Thinking, wishing.
There are the dreams you have before you have a baby and the realizations you have after you have a baby and sometimes they don’t match. Sometimes, things you want have to be placed in a temporary hold because other things are more important right now. This spring, I am reading other people’s work and I am thinking, “I should write about this, and that, and pitch it here, and there” but then I remember the reality of my days right now. They are packed. They are rushed. I wake up bone-tired but alert, always alert, always listening for my baby’s cry and her breathing, always reading and intuiting her needs. I play with her and read to her and then I go to work and try to cram everything in. Where I used to have ten hours, I now have eight. Where I used to have unlimited time, I now have limits.
The world feels very much on Pause for me right now in all aspects except one, the most important one, which isn’t on Pause after all but instead is very much on Fast Forward. My girl is sitting up. She is teasing me, playing games with me. She is testing me. She is growing at such an alarming rate that all I can do is watch and marvel, and point out the flowers that are blooming.