“"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best -- " and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called” –A.A. Milne
It’s no secret that I like surprises, and I like parties, and I like holidays. It’s the planning, rather than the realization, however, that really turns my crank. For this reason, I always thought that a fun job would be Event Planner, but I am not foolish enough to think that it doesn’t come with several huge downsides, including the loss of weekends forever and bridezillas and crazy people.
The downside to this personality trait is a bit of a let-down when things are realized. Are you following? Because big things have happened in my life lately, and now that I’m on the other side, I feel a bit, well, not anticipatory, and I LIKE to anticipate.
It’s not that I’m not happy I’m here, it’s just that one of the things that makes me really happy is missing.
It might also have something to do with the fact that in my big anticipatory states, I have been the center of attention. I’m not naive; I know that one can only be the center of attention a few times (really) in one’s life, and most of those acts necessitate turning the spotlight on someone else shortly thereafter, but it’s tough when you experience a bit of loss, a bit of mourning for that attention.
When Tony and I got married, it was all about us, and mostly me. I loved it. I loved planning it, I loved living it. And then, I went to school and I missed it. Nearly a year of preparation and then it was done! And it was marvelous, and we had photos and gifts, but it was over. Fortunately, I had graduate school to work on and look forward to, and that filled some of the void.
But the bigger struggle for me has been babies. Once again (well, twice again, now), for the better part of a year, I planned for and anticipated having a new baby. And then he was here! In my arms! And suddenly, all that planning is put to the test and we get to live it and breathe it and clean it up every single day and it is truly fantastic. Oh, I love my boys.
But I miss being pregnant. Not for the soul-crushing morning sickness, or the weight gain (it’s nice to see the scale inch in the other direction), or the stretch marks (I got ONE GIANT ONE, which just isn’t fair, I’m telling you, as it is a monster that will eat your face if you stare at it long enough and will be the bane of my bikini existence assuming I ever get back to bikini size), or the pressure on my ladybits, or the huffing and puffing up flights of stairs, but for the air of excitement. Preparing for baby! People asking me when I was due, how far along was I, did I know if I was having a boy or a girl! Anticipating labor. Anticipating a squishy, million-degree, mewly newborn. Folding adorable tiny clothes that you dream about remembering your child wearing, even though you know from experience that sleep deprivation will cruelly rob you of the best memories.
And now that’s gone. And I fill my days with work and household chores and kids and it’s not about me and the life I am creating anymore, but rather the boys.
That’s as it should be, of course. Ask me about my boys! Do it! I’ll tell you how awesome Charles is lately, and how Jamie has started to recognize people other than me and thus lights up with a big, open-mouthed smile when they enter the room. Those kids deserve all the attention they can get because they are seriously cool and I never thought that having them around would be this much fun.
And Tony, too! He just got a new job that will mean great things for his career and work/life balance! Attention to him!
But what about me? I have nothing interesting to tell you about me. So I guess I kinda miss being pregnant because it gave me something interesting to talk about, it meant that I was more than just the drudgery of daily life. And before I got pregnant, I had activities and events, fun things to anticipate. Now, I anticipate trying to lose the baby weight and that makes me sad.
I think that most people like anticipating great things, even if they’re small things. Do you anticipate new movies in the theaters? New books? I anticipate new books because I don’t have time or babysitters for new movies, but then I usually talk myself out of buying the new books I want to read because I’m too frugal for my own good. Or maybe you are lucky enough to have a date night with your sweetie once a week or once a month (we don’t do this. Should we? Well, probably, but the kid won’t take a bottle, so our together time is limited to Netflix after the kids go to sleep and a little “How tired are you? *wink, wink*” “Too tired and I smell like baby vomit.”).
I know how Huey Lewis feels… I want a new drug, too.