The woman, tall and with shiny long hair, greeted me with, "It's great to see another young adult here!"
I'm 37, but that's not the main reason why I had to object. "I'm afraid I'm not a young adult," I said. "I have three kids." The woman and her companions registered the mistake, perhaps taking in the grey hairs sprouting wildly at my part. "But at least none of them are clinging to my leg at the moment," I added, smiling. Bewildered smiles in return. Time for a whiskey.
Given that on most days I have some combination of my three daughters in tow as I traipse around the city, I don't believe I am mis-categorized often. I am firmly in the mom category. Last week in a doctor's office with two of my kids, the receptionist repeatedly (to my extreme irritation) called me "ma'am". I'm completing my first decade as a parent this month, as Bella will turn ten. (I had put an exclamation point at the end of that sentence, but then I thought better and removed it. After all, what's shocking to me is, in fact, commonplace. Kids grow up. Haven't you seen Facebook lately? No need to blog about it...)
What am I doing here, then? I'm interested in exploring the hows and whys and whats of people turning into parents. There's no one moment when that happens. I remember when I was laboring with Bella, and the contractions were becoming more painful and intense. I was half-way up Mt. Everest, and there was no turning back. I knew that I was in for something terrible and awe-inspring and new, and it would take everything I had to get through it, and then some.
The day I became a parent, 10 years ago.
This blog will be a place to reflect on what it means to become a parent. The high and lows of pregnancy, the messiness and ecstasy of birth, and the chaos of new parenthood encompass a magical, fleeting time. If you're living that right now, expecting a child, wondering what's coming, welcome to the foothills of the mountain. I'm fascinated by that part of the journey, and will have much to say about it here. As for the journey beyond, there will be words about that, too, as I'm still living it.