We talked about how difficult having children was--even though you don't have any. It was nice to be able to be completely honest with you, someone who listened and liked that I said these things:
"I would've been just as happy had I not had any children at all."
"I think you can live a beautifully full and satisfying life without having children."
"Everybody tells you how wonderful it is and they don't tell you how awful it can be, too."
Making such statements made you comfortable enough to tell me about the children who ruin your lunch because they are loud or crying. Or about the mothers you see who are on the phone, seemingly ignoring their child. Here's the thing, Stella. The crying or the loud volume, they ruin my lunch, too. But kids cry. And sometimes they are loud, but so are adults. And those mothers on the phone? They are not ignoring their child. Or at least I'm not. I am with Sabine around the clock every single day, giving her practically everything I have. So if she gets upset when I am on the phone, or if I don't answer her right away, that's okay.
I still believe what I told you. You don't have to have children to be happy and satisfied with life. But I think that now I am a kind of happy I would've never been without having Sabine. I am patient with her in ways I never thought I'd be. I have a colossal capacity to soothe her emotionally and physically, and when I do, it feels better than anything I've ever felt. To know that I can give so enormously makes me realize that I was loved in gargantuan amounts (something I was rarely conscious of before becoming a mother).
And to receive the amount of unselfconscious, unconditional and unadulterated affection that Sabine floods me with almost every single day, well, it's a wondrous, warm, magnificent thing. It makes your nerve endings come alive again. I can feel things in ways I haven't felt for a long time.
And because she is so fearless and crashes head first, eyes and arms wide open, into EVERYTHING, life is bigger and blindingly brilliant. Things smell and taste better. Each day, I can't wait to run around with her until we are out of breath and laugh until our sides ache. Laying next to or holding Sabine in my arms feels better, more luxurious than any king-size goose down comforter, or even, two whole weeks at a Four Seasons in some mind-blowing tropical location.
Thank you, again, for the escape and for being a receptacle for my complaining. But I always knew I loved her and that I'd come out of the feels-impossible part and into the still-difficult-but-also-feels-like-dopamine part of parenthood. Well, I'm there now. And I think you are still where you were. So maybe our paths will meet again, but for now, I'm soaking in the splendor and your words and gripes are flying right over my head.
Take care. And don't call me; I'll call you.
|Top image via Observando|