When someone I know had their first baby, her first comment to the world was "I didn't know it was possible to love someone this much." I thought that nailed it so hard, the way you think you KNOW until you have a child and then you realize you don't know anything - but you are suddenly so invested in another human being that you don't know who you are anymore.
It's not a bad thing. But it's a life changing thing. I'm 12 years in to the life change of being a parent and it's still a pretty surprising experience. The thing I'm usually most surprised at is me. I'm pretty selfish, I'm so selfish that when I'm not being selfish "I" notice it. I feel like that's a good measure of being VERY SELFISH. I think it's like when you smell so bad finally you can smell yourself, you know?
I guess that's where I surprise myself, when I know there is a version of me that would be pissed off and yet I'm not.
Last night we'd planned some alone time after the kids went to bed. Planning alone time is really a sure fire way to make sure it doesn't happen.About 45 minutes after she went to bed, when I was relaxing in my own bed, I heard little feet hurrying down the hall and a tiny blonde cyclone hit my bed hard, snuggling up against me. "I had dreams" she mumbled and was instantly asleep. Alone time cancelled.
She tossed and turned all night, waking up repeatedly waving her arms, scared of something. I assured her I was there every time, whispered to relax and and pulled her close. At one point she mumbled "I can't swim in this bed." I told her no, we're done swimming, go to sleep now. I saw 2, and 3:39, and 4:22, and various minutes of the 6 am hour. I was thinking how nice it'd be to get up alone when my alarm went off and she bounded up with me.
"You don't have to get up," I whispered.
"I LOVE to get up early with you! Will you make me special coffee?" she squeezed me.
That meant rather than a cup of black coffee we were going to have coffee chocked full of cream and sugar. This cup is sitting beside me at the moment. I prefer black coffee because of the calories but hey, I'm sharing. And she loves "special coffee".
So I'm tired, a bit achy from sleeping in weird positions, deprived of my calorie-less coffee and needing a shower. Beside me is an exuberant, caffeinated ball of five year old energy who tells me I'm beautiful in my pajamas. She's watching ABC Mouse. It hasn't made her a genius but she does like it a lot so that's ok.
As for me, I wouldn't trade one perfect night's sleep for any of the minutes I spent with her last night.
Because I didn't know it was possible to love someone this much. But it is.