Friday, December 23, 2011

Taking Time to Smell The Diapers

It’s that time of year, time for thanks, reflection, and yes, lists. I promise this list won’t leave you feeling listless. Alright, you have my word and personal guarantee: I can’t make that promise. You’ll probably go limp with listlessness.  
While the coals were hot (or the baby was asleep-ish in her sling), I thought I’d strike a few keys. 
The other evening, Al said we were lucky. I’d been having one of those days, the kind where you try to manage caring for a new baby while bidding fare-the-well to the cozy routine you’d once known. I’ve been struggling lately because I haven’t found any semblance of balance. I’m behind on work ... I haven’t put nearly enough energy into writing or submitting fiction ... I can no longer call the dust mites guests (because it’s official, they’re roommates—the kind who stink up the fridge with their olive loaf and hog all the hot water) ... I’m “preparing” prepackaged caramel corn for dinner ... My drawstring pants have filed a restraining order against me. 
Sure, I have my Type-A moments, but I’ve never thought of myself as particularly high maintenance. Yet the disorder around me is now weighing me down like a urine-logged diaper (worst [baby] metaphor ever), and I have no idea how to clean up the mess. I know. You’re right. I just have to accept the mess as the new clean. This mess is just going to have to have a nice (weakest [baby] modifier ever) sleepover, one that lasts until Ava is say 32 and a half. 
Chaos aside, Al was, and is, right. (Good thing he probably won’t read this and get a big head.) We/I have a lot to be thankful for, so here it is, that list you’ve been lethargically awaiting! Don’t worry, it’s only “10 Reasons Why I Feel Really, Really, Really Lucky,” and only 15.2 of these reasons are random:   

1. Eight years of infertility and one failed adoption brought us to our daughter, and our daughter to us. It isn’t 100-percent official yet, but we are hers. And she is ours. Enough said. 
2. A husband and best friend whose biggest shortcoming might be his lack of closure. (Example #1: If he’s having a good time with good people (almost always), he has a hard time leaving that good time and those good people. Example #2: He struggles to close virtually anything you can/should probably close around our house.)
3. Family and friends who continue to amaze, inspire and surround me (even when I’ve consumed too much brie).
4. I do what I love. Really. I don’t always find or make enough time to write what I want (or hope) to write, but I write. And people even pay me for some of it. Enough said. 
5. A dog who adores me with one condition: ceaseless ball play. 
6. My unhealthy relationship with sarcasm. Often, the only person chuckling is me, but I get bored and weary of taking serious shit (and there’s plenty of it out there) so seriously. 
7. Pork rinds. (See #6.)
8. A bowling average hovering in the 120s (see #7 and #6).

9. A place to shout home (even if it isn’t even close to baby-proofed, and every cupboard, drawer, door, milk carton, ketchup bottle and toothpaste tube has been left open). 
10. More time. No matter how compressed the minutes and the hours sometimes feel, every day I wake up, I’m given the blessing of a little more. 
Remember, whatever you do or wherever you are this holiday, be merry and take some time to smell the diapers.

"I would never leave Ava's diaper open."