One month of juggling lessons later…
What is it like to be a new parent to two kids?
I can do everything— until I can’t.
Everything is fine— until it’s not.
It’s the most beautiful day until it’s the end of the world.
Every single limit is stretched to its breaking point until magically, a whisper of a moment later there is an eternal horizon of patience and smiles.
There is no middle ground with this new juggling act, and that’s ok.
The sleepless nights take on a hazy Kodachrome hue, and time flickers by the light of the TV. Sometimes the minutes are quiet and still, sometimes they rumble and shake. I gaze at my sleeping children with bated breath until I am lulled by the rise and fall of their chests. And then all of a sudden the chatter and cry of their voices come crashing through the dark and peace is at an end.
I don’t have the energy to make any more ‘important to-do lists’ but I am learning to trust that the important things will make themselves known. The important decisions and paths will present themselves. The important people will understand.
It’s not easy. I’m not sure it’s ever going to get easier. And that’s ok too.
I forget what my 4 year old wants for lunch, and that paper I was supposed to sign and send back to the school is still sitting on my desk. But I know how she needs to be held and rocked gently after a nightmare, and I remember what to say when she stands with her arms outstretched to me.
There are times I fight the gentle inertia of new parenthood. The need to be busy surges through me. What if I miss out? What if I am forgotten while I live in this timeless, gravity-defying dimension for the next few months? I realize that I am exactly like my daughter at bedtime, begging and pleading for the day to go on and on, bursting with sweet defiance and an unrefined want of inclusion and permanent momentum.
Just as suddenly, I dismiss the fabricated urgency of our world with a smile —I have accomplished everything by seeing my infant’s happy, milk-drunk slumber.
As my eyes softly rest on my children’s faces, my ego relaxes. No, I will not ‘miss out’ on anything. No, I will not ‘fall behind’. No, I will not be forgotten or replaced.
There is only one me, and I am exactly where I need to be, exactly where I have always wanted to be — soaking in the honeyed, lovely mess of dreams coming true.
Everything else can wait.