If there is any job on the planet that should come with sick leave and personal days it is motherhood, the unceasing, ever-demanding and never-ending job.
If any of you are in contact with my employer, I’d really appreciate it if you’d put in a word about this.
There are days when I’m so sick or worn out that I curl up on the living room floor in my PJs and try to nap while Zoe pulls at my hair and crawls over my abdomen.
There are days when Zoe screams for no discernible reason.
There are days when Zoe is so picky that she decides she’d rather stay hungry all day and all night rather than deign to eat steamed carrots. Or any other kind of food we own. And there are days when I bemoan Zoe’s lack of teeth which further narrows her eating options.
There are days when I try to wean Zoe and she becomes so insistent that she just pulls down my shirt and helps herself.
There are days that are so demanding and exhausting that the dirty dishes sit in the sink until night and my husband comes home to a wreck of an apartment and an unprepared meal. There are days when the high chair is a biohazard of unidentifiable crumbs and the floor is littered with rattles and plush toys.
There are nights when we are so exhausted that we simply sit side-by-side and watch four episodes of Orphan Black, our new sci-fi TV trip, courtesy of the BBC. And I knit while just being next to my husband.
There are nights when I blog the insomnia away and don’t get to bed until 2.
There are nights when Zoe wakes up hungry three times from 2 to 6.
And then the day begins again.
Today was one of those days and one of those nights.
But you know, I can’t remember the last time that I wished my life were any different.
I feel satisfied. Happy.
There are fireworks over the Hudson River on the 4th of July and fireworks in Times Square on New Year’s, but this contentment slipped quietly and unobtrusively into my life with conviction and experience. No neon signs and no helium balloons.
I like watching TV with my husband. I like knitting. I like holding little rubber bath toys high over the bathtub and yelling, “GERONIMO!” as I drop them to an explosion of my daughter’s giggles.
Oh hell, who am I kidding? I love it. I have a phenomenal life.
I think the most exciting thing I’ve done over the past five months has been to buy a $25 ukelele on Amazon and try to teach myself how to play using Youtube tutorials. Oh MAN, what a life and what a world. Today is a great day to be alive.
I’ve spent my whole life trying to be extraordinary in some way because I thought that happiness was the prize at the bottom of that cereal box.
And yet here I am. In my routine and normal life. I’m only missing the white picket fence and red minivan. Day by day I learn to better love my husband and day by day I get to know my daughter a little better. My gut is saturated with serenity.
I never have to do or be anything more.
And tomorrow it begins again.