When I was pregnant with Big A, I went to the bookstore and purchased the staples for mother's-to-be...if you've had a child, you know what I'm talking about. When I was having Little A, I brushed those books off as a sort of refresher course, but I found myself laughing at nearly each turn of the page and wondering about all the things that I didn't read about; the things that no one wrote, the things that I wish I'd known:
--In a single moment, your entire world twists and turns and never looks the same. It's brighter and darker in an instant.
--Every news story about a child is about your child. You've not known fear until the moment that for one second, your child slips out of your sight. The thoughts that can race through your head within a matter of a heartbeat is astounding.
--The amount that you can love someone and at the same time want to be free of that someone for just one moment will never make sense to you. The guilt from feeling that way will keep you awake at night, you'll tiptoe in thier night-light lit room and look at them while they are sleeping and pray for a new day to not take for granted. The next day, you'll take it for granted.
--Goldfish crackers are resiliant. They will remain intact in your car far longer than most of the parts on the automobile.
--You no longer think that you'll never be "that" mom--you know the one: pushing a screaming child through a store in her sweats, desperation and exhaustion the only make-up on her face, the mom that lets chicken nuggets count as protien intake because it's all your child wants to eat, the mom that lets her life go to let her child's life take flight. The sight of that mother staring back at you from the reflection within the freezer door or store window will astound you more than once.
--No one can tell you in a book what will happen to you, because the truth is that it's unknown. No matter the advice that you follow, nutrients that you count, precautions that you take, the reality is that much of it is out of our hands. That is the exact reason why we go to the bookstore in the first place: for the reassurance that there is some universal truth to being the perfect parent. If that actually existed, the parenting section in your local book purveyor would contain one selection, and you'd know it already because your parents had read it. The real book is in your hands, and the pages are blank--you are the author, the editor, and the publisher.
What will you write on your pages?