Sunday, February 9, 2014

You say it's your birth day. It's my birthday too.

It's my birthday this week. Usually I wake up late, roll over and go back to sleep on my birthday. This year that will not be an option.

Ella is here. She just experienced her own birth day, and she is a bit of a night owl, as you can see.

We have been fostering for 10 years now, and every time I hold a new baby, all of the other stories and all of the other children kind of fade away. And I direct all of my energy towards my family, with an extra dose of love for the little person asleep in my arms.

Everything changes, over night. With no notice. One day we have 2 kids who make their own meals and get themselves dressed, and know not to wake me up before 8am unless the house is on fire or someone is bleeding. The next day those two kids are still plugging along, but I am now lying catatonic on the couch after being awake all night long, clutching a newborn and weakly asking them if they could just pour me a little more coffee before I get dressed.

It happens Just. Like. That.
I go from no baby at all, to all baby all the time. I go from having 9th row seats for Dave Chappelle's sold out performance, to standing in the lobby straining to hear his act over the laughter in the auditorium while I rock slowly back and forth wearing a Baby Bjorn.

I go from 2 jobs and 2 kids and a solid 8 hours of sleep, to 2 jobs, 3 kids and 0 sleep. That math does not work. Even with a fancy calculator. Believe me, I HAVE TRIED.

I go from reading and writing, to lying in bed too tired to hold up a magazine, never mind write anything worth reading.

I go from heels to sneakers, scarfs to burp clothes, a cute little haircut to dirty hair jammed into an elastic band.

I go from eating hot food and drinking cold drinks, to eating and drinking everything at room temperature - if I ever eat at all.

I go from enjoying coffee, to needing coffee.

My trunk space is swallowed up by a stroller, my cupholders are filled with baby bottles, I drive hugging the steering wheel because the rear-facing infant carseat prevents me from moving my seat back, and I have 2 diapers in my purse but can't find the lipstick I know I had in there last week.

None of that matters, of course. All that matters is this:

It is all worth it. Absolutely 100% worth it.

But damn, the transition can be brutal.
This week I will celebrate my birthday in sweat pants, with a mysterious yellow smear on my t-shirt and a bottle of milk in my hand. Happy birthday to me. Please send cake - I don't have the energy to bake one.

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