Is This Hard?

November 7, 2014

Last night around 9:15PM Fox was lying in child’s pose on our big king size bed – he was in the middle of a coughing fit and even though he was still half asleep I picked him up. I cradled him and petted his head. I offered him a boob and he threw up a tummy full of snot on the both of us – for the third time this week. I reassured him that everything was okay and changed him out of his pajamas as he hysterically cried – which is typically the only time I get to see how his teeth are coming in. Last night I noticed the top right one just about to break through the surface to join his top left. Growing teeth isn’t a good time.

Five minutes later I’m in the shower – which is where I go to escape these days. Hot water and white noise usually loud enough to tune out my day. But last night it wasn’t enough to drown out the sound of my hysterical baby who refused to be comforted by his dad. As I get out of the shower I’m surprised to find that Fox isn’t in bed, or in Jeremy’s arms, but crawling towards the bathroom crying, with his whole body, something that resembles “mama”. I scoop him up, wearing nothing but a towel, and remind him with a soft “shhhh-shhh” that everything is okay – he seems to believe me.

By 9:45 Fox I’ve coaxed and nursed Fox to sleep, on a towel – just incase, with his arm wrapped around mine. I’m reading Amy Poehler’s new book Yes, Please and Jeremy is laying next to me reading Game of Thrones. But I’m doing that thing where I read the same sentence over and over without comprehension because I’m in my own head. I set down my Kindle to ask Jeremy if the words playing on repeat in my head all day long are true:

Is this hard? Being a parent?

Jeremy sets his phone down and carefully considers the question. “No. It’s not hard.”

“Then what is it?”

“It just… is.”

It just is. Jeremy went on to make me feel better by describing celebrating Christmas thirty years from now. We’ll be living in a house straight from a John Hughes movie – perfect for celebrating the holidays in. Fox will be in town with his really great partner-in-crime and I’ll be sharing stories by the fire, with a mug of coffee (or glass of wine), about how I grew a wildly successful business when he was just a little baby. A little baby who refused to sleep longer than two hours at a time. I got lost in Jeremy’s fantasy as he described it to me – it turns out his daydream is what I needed to escape and tune out the day.

Jeremy is right. It isn’t hard. I mean, sometimes it feels really hard. Like this week – juggling house guests, comforting a sick teething baby who won’t sleep, coordinating doctor’s appointments in between a schedule packed with client meetings, managing a team and deadlines and my own damn drive to write more, work out more, be more … all on very little sleep and with the thought that this is the rest of my life … it’s hard. And it is hard. But sometimes it is bliss. Sometimes it is funny. Sometimes it is sweet. Sometimes it is no big deal and sometimes it is mind blowing. Sometimes it is love bigger than anything I’ve ever known. But I think if I can stop trying to categorize the experience I’m having I can see Jeremy is right – I can see that it just is.

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