Olive is now almost 9 weeks old, and getting to the point where we can lay her on a blanket on the floor and she’ll happily kick and squirm and squeal and look around for a bit on her own. This means I can do awesome things like make meals with two hands, and eat meals with two hands, and do things that require TWO HANDS I HAVE USE OF BOTH MY HANDS LOOK MA BOTH HANDS!
It’s delightful. But also unnerving, because sometimes (does this make me a bad mother?) for a split second, I forget I have a baby. I’ll be immersed in a task for a few moments, then I’ll walk past her doorway and suddenly I’ll realize, “Sweet jebus there’s a baby on my floor.” and then just as quickly it will hit me, “Oh my gah that’s MY baby. I have a BABY.”
The past two months have been such a whirlwind, everything has been taken day by day, hour by hour. Your life becomes so much about meeting the immediate needs of this little person that you live completely in the moment, moment to moment. This is necessary to survive those early weeks, but it also means that at some point you will lift your head from this tiny microchasm of life and realize that incredibly, the rest of the world has gone on living, and holy shit there’s under three weeks until Christmas, are people expecting gifts from me? Also: When was the last time I shaved my legs?
I feel like I’m slowly emerging from this baby fog, and with this slow awakening comes the realization that Olive will one day be six months old. And then a year old. And then five years old. She’ll go to school and make friends and learn to talk, she’ll talk back and run away and one day she’ll slam the door in my face and I’ll realize holy shit I have a TEENAGER!
I’ve never been one to lament birthdays, the passing by of each new year. I’ve never hated getting older, I’ve never feared the rapidly multiplying birthday cake candles – until now.
My 29th birthday is coming up right after Christmas. This morning I was dancing around the living room with O, and a sappy country song came on (I’m not telling you which one, because even I am judging me), and I started crying.
Internets, I started crying.
I don’t want to get older. I don’t want that number to roll past, because it means I’m one year closer to whichever year is my last. Whichever year I have to leave here and leave Adam and more importantly, most importantly, leave Olive.
I felt like a child learning about death for the first time, I felt cheated and angry and heartbroken. I don’t want to get older, I don’t want to leave her, Ever.
This is one part of having a child I hadn’t anticipated. That I would suddenly feel my mortality so much more acutely, because unlike Adam who is close to my age and will probably precede or follow me pretty closely, I now have a someone I’ll be leaving behind. She’ll probably live half of her life without me, and how is that possible? How will she cope? She needs me! Oh god I’m going to cry again.
If you are thinking “Holy shit Madeleine, MERRY CHRISTMAS!”, I feel you. Could I get any more maudlin? See, this is what happens when it rains for seventy five straight days and I haven’t left the house in two.
Those are my reflections on mortality for this rainy Tuesday.
On a more pleasant note, we’re taking Olive to see Santa either tonight or tomorrow. Am I a bad person for secretly hoping she cries, because pictures of kids wailing on Santa’s lap are pretty much the best thing ever.
P.S. I don’t blame the kids – those Santas are creepy.