Dear Parents who are also…
Partners in crime, matches made in mail rooms, crush puppies, walkers of the same chosen path with snacks packed for healthy detours…
In the honest and messy and swollen trenches that we experts call “Postpartum” with a capital P, I watch as you morph and melt and meltdown; I watch — also — as you reassess, adjust priorities and struggle to recognize your love story.
Your fights can be ugly and petty and your sex life is most likely frightening — at best — if not completely nonexistent. Little decisions such as “The Pacifier” represent every decision yet to come — ones that will surely result in one of two scenarios: Ivy League or grand theft auto. “If we can’t even agree on The PACIFIER?!”
This was never going to be easy. A baby brings out the very best and the very worst in a relationship. The hormones, body changes and sleep deprivation don’t help.
So let me tell you — in your darkest hour, with the midnight clock tick-ticking through the endless burping session, with your partner snoring arrogantly beside you — what I see:
- The way she looks at you, Papa Bear, as you bounce on that balance ball, singing the entire Jimmy Buffet catalogue in your tired, gravelly, PERFECT lullaby voice.
- The way he makes sure, Mama, that nobody uses your favorite cup…and that it’s always full of fresh, cold water.
- The pictures on your mantel — backpacking through Europe, Cabo 2009, Christmas mornings, your dog “Alfredo.” The smiles, the laughter.
- The people who stop by — bringing casseroles and handmade quilts — so clearly drawn to you two and the life you’ve created.
I know it’s hard and I know you’re scared (and mad and weepy and excited and bored and curious and frustrated). But from where I stand — here on the sidelines — your love is beautiful.
With admiration from —