In the thick of new parenthood "no" became my favorite answer. No, I couldn't meet you for lunch, even though it was literally right down the street, even though I could have easily brought the baby with me, nestled into my chest. No, I didn't want tickets for that concert happening six months down the road; trying to find the mental space to plan a future outing was impossible. No, no, nope. I threw out No's because Yes was buried down so deep, and I was too strung out to search for it.
That was then. And sometimes when I think about then, I wonder if I'm being retroactively dramatic. Maybe I wasn't that bad? Maybe I didn't cry every time my mom came over, the way I remember it? Maybe I didn't hold my crying girl in my arms, feet aching from rocking her back and forth for so many hours in a darkened room at midnight, wondering when things would get better?
(No. I definitely did.)
Anyway, that was then and now, I have found my Yes.
It happened gradually, spread out over the past few months, as my baby learned how to point and clap and wave, as spring turned to summer turned to fall. Should I get those Gillian Anderson in "Streetcar Named Desire" tickets for Spring 2016? Obviously. Did I want to go to the Neko Case concert in December? Heck yeah. Could I skip my girl's bedtime one Saturday night so I could toast my soon-to-be-married friend? Yep; I'm sure we'll all handle that slightly different bedtime routine just fine.
The other day I was walking up Broadway after just agreeing to do something after work hours, at night, when I'm usually home. And I felt buoyed by Yes.