"It's a two-cup morning," she said, and off for a refill she went. I followed, because indeed it was. The mornings after those eternal nights of early parenthood can send us into a tailspin, where everything seems a blur and nothing seems easy. They are the mornings you decide all those mamas must be lying who claim babyhood slips away too quickly. Baby Girl had been up much of the night crying, most likely because she's teething. The week before had been her first birthday, and balloons still floated in the kitchen behind her high chair. As Dear Mama pressed another pot of coffee, I asked about her first year as a mother; and one look said it all. It had been incredible, and hard...really hard...why didn't anyone say it would be this hard?!
Like music, parenthood can intensify any emotion, elevating feelings of joy and deepening feelings of heartache.
I know those feelings well. I cried more in that first year of mama-hood than in all the rest of my adulthood combined. And for me the love for my little one grew slowly and steadily, and the feelings of "like" came after that. Yet in spite of the emotional hurricane I endured, I had this pressing feeling that I had also entered into the most amazing, important calling of my life. I would do anything for this mysterious creature.
There's a Shakespeare quote on a wall in the kitchen, a quote I keep lingering on as I sip my strong Portland brew:
"If music be the food of Love, play on."
In this house, where music is played on vinyl and a daughter receives a bright yellow ukulele for her first birthday, I think this family's love is well fed. And I see it as I watch those first morning kisses wash away the night's distresses. If love is powerful, then love birthed by family is a force: a force that makes us overflow with pride at our loved ones' feats and stay awake at night with worry about their future. And at the end of the day I believe we would all say it is incredible and hard...really hard...but we would never want it to stop. In spite of parenthood's hurricane of emotions, we say