Thursday, January 14, 2010

the marathon

I'm weary.
It's a good kind of weary, the kind you get when you know you are working hard, and using all of your muscles. I'm using those darn parenting muscles, every last one of them, and sometimes, when I do, I get this giddy feeling like a tightrope walker that finally managed to spin the plate on top of the umbrella while riding the unicycle.
Being a parent is hard. Being a parent to two is harder. But I feel like I at least have my balance this time.
I keep thinking about this first year of Julia's life as a marathon. It kind of sucks, the sleeplessness, the constant motion, the figuring-out-why-Julia-is-crying endlessness, the naptime carousel, the nursing wrestling match. But just like a marathon, the experience is exhilarating. And the view--in my case, of a 3-month-old--is indescribable.
I thought, tonight, "But it was the same amount of work, last time. Less, even, because I only had one. Why was it so much harder?"
Then it occurred to me: one doesn't usually run a marathon without training. But there is no real way to prepare for having a baby, unless, like my mother-in-law, you were the oldest of eleven children. That would be pretty good preparation.
So no wonder I felt the teensiest bit overwhelmed last time.

I will keep going, then, and try to enjoy the experience this time. The weariness, the sleeplessness, and the giddy newness of it all.

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