There’s a strip in Neil Gaiman’s Fables and Reflections which has stayed with me for the longest time. In a dream, I’m standing at the edge of a precipice and there’s no way down but to jump. But I’m terrified of heights and I’m pretty sure I’ll plunge to my death.
Morpheus: If you do not climb you will not fall. This is true. But is it that bad to fail, that hard to fall? Sometimes you wake, and sometimes, yes, you die. But there is a third alternative.
Sometimes you wake up.
Sometimes the fall kills you.
And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.
Motherhood is like that. In most ways, I’m resistant to change. I like what’s familiar and safe. My life was good before, when everything was planned out and neat and I’ve got it all figured out in my head. The job, the vacations, the parties, the glamour.
Then the kids arrive, and everything changes. I suppose it’s possible to make the kid fit into your life and keep the inconveniences to a minimum. Some folks get a nanny or babysitter to take care of all the baby’s needs while they galavant all night. Which is not a bad thing, since you get the best of both worlds.
But my mantra for motherhood (for life, as a matter of fact) is somewhat different. In the words of Robert Frost,
Two roads diverged in a wood
And I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference
After 10 months of countless sleepless nights, missed parties, forgone vacations, I can still safely say that it’s been the best time of my life. I’ve never been happier. Sure, there’s been bad days when I wish life was a little less tough. On retrospect, I did take a peek and wander down the path taken by many, but I’m glad I turned back and chose the other one instead.
Nothing could trump the fact that I’m the first person Tru sees when he wakes up, and the last person to kiss him goodnight before he goes to bed. That I’m there hold him when he’s got a bad day and kiss the boo-boos away. To witness all the first milestones and have him grow up knowing that Mommy’s going to be there no matter what.
So yeah, sometimes you fall. But sometimes you take off on the most awesome journey of your life.