happiness

so, we’re back from the big trip. zoe had a splendid time, even though she got pretty off schedule, and had a fussy day, she did great. mom swears she didn’t have a fussy day, but it was fussy for her… she’s such an incredibly laid back kid that some minor crankiness is highly unusual. so, while i will post lots of pictures, and probably some video tomorrow, i had some other things i was thinking about.

i had a bit of an epiphany, standing in the laundry room tonight. i’m happy. really, truly happy. it’s been a long time since i could say i was content. and i am. surprisingly so. even though we have several thousand in medical debt to pay from zoe’s birth, even though spencer is working a lot, and comes home exhausted, even though building this house has been stressful beyond belief (and it’s only just beginning) and even though zoe isn’t always sleeping through the night (or getting naps for that matter) even though, even though. life is finally at last looking like nothing i anticipated or imagined, and it’s wonderful. i don’t know what happened. a year ago, spencer and i were really having a tough time, mostly because i had a hard time with the concept of self-sacrifice. not that we had knock-down drag out fights. far from it. we just lost some of the love we had for each other, the love of action and words, not just a warm fuzzy feeling. this may be to raw, and too bare for some who are reading, and i’m sorry. i think to truly understand why i’m so amazed, you have to understand where i’m journeying from. this place i’m in, that we’re in, is very different from where we were. and i think a lot of it has to do with a small little girl named zoe.

when you have a child, especially when they’re still tiny, there is no other option but sacrifice. my perspective is that of a stay at home mom, but working mothers have a different set of sacrifices to make. you stay up late to get them to go to sleep for 3 hours, just so you can get some laundry done before they wake up to eat again. you wake up when they cry, because they woke up and couldn’t soothe themselves back to sleep. you time your life around their naps, and the hobbies and things you did before aren’t options anymore when they won’t sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time. heck, some days, it feels like you get a shower right before dinner and start the bedtime routine back over again. all this to say, life revolves around them, and their needs. and not you anymore. no one asks how you are(well, some people do, but most everyone is interested in the baby. and it’s okay.) your friends either understand why you can’t come out for coffee, or they don’t. your child becomes the heartbeat of the home, and life is completely changed. i never expected the level of need zoe would have for me, but the level of need i have for her surprises me. i miss her when i leave her with grandma to run to the store. i look forward to seeing that sleepy smile in the mornings when i get up to feed her. and i’m thankful she’s here to mess up all my self-centered plans.

i’m happy because i’m giving of myself. i should have learned this about 6 years ago, when i got married, but i didn’t. and it took a diapered bundle of smiles and poop to help me learn what love is. love is sacrifice. there’s no two ways about it. there won’t be thank you’s for the things i do. not now at least. but maybe one day zoe will look back, and realize, like i am, that the things her mother did for her children, what a wife does for her husband, isn’t born out of obligation, but love.

and that’s why i’m finally, really happy. regardless of what the future brings, the things i needed to learn, i’m finally enrolled in the right classes. the ones that matter.

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