Us twenty-somethings spend a lot of time exploring our inner selves, looking for the niche - that certain something which defines us, inspires us to get up in the morning and face the day.
Some look for meaning in the work they do. Some delve passionately into religion and seek meaning in their faith communities and God. Others travel the world and learn who they want to be by surveying cultures, while some are content to sit peacefully at home and knit garments for loved ones. Some even look for inner strength through physical strength. And some look for meaning in money, power, property, and possessions; or maybe living like a pauper without possessions. There are those who think relationships with others - romantic or otherwise - give them strength, and those who find strength in solitude.
I, for one, have worn many of these hats, but I have to say I never truly knew the meaning of life until Everett was born. I can honestly look back on my life over the last 10 years and think, "Damm I have it good." I married the right man, we saw the world together, we educated ourselves, and we pushed ourselves to physical and emotional limits we never dreamed possible. And now we have a physical manifestation of our love in parenthood
Sure, I am five pounds heavier than I used to be - "Jeff, would you buy me some cookies while you're at the store."
I can't pick up and go whenever I want with a baby on board - "Ummm yes, would it be okay for me to bring this baby into the bar. I promise he's well behaved." (and yes, they let us in)
I had to quit running because there just isn't any time with a full time job and an infant - "I'll sign up for a half marathon again some day."
My house smells like casseroles instead of the gourmet meals we used to cook - "Jeff, we should find a tater tot casserole!"
I don't spend money on myself anymore - Jeff: "What do you want for Christmas?" Me: "Wouldn't these shoes be so cute on Everett?"
Who cares? None of this matters anymore, even though I used to think it did. I have to wake up at 5:30 every day to get our day started, and Jeff (my night owl husband) is there to help without a shrug or complaint.
Being a parent changes you, but only for the better. People always say to do things while you are young and without children. But friends, I say life doesn't start until you have children. I have loved seeing Jeff grow into fatherhood. I adore him more every day seeing the man he has become, and the love he has given to our son. I was happy before, but am now over the moon.
For what can be more exquisite than unconditional Love?
Not to say you should go out and have kids tomorrow. Take time to find yourself, make mistakes, see the world, kick stuff off your Bucket List. Then life will be even better when you bring a little one into your world.
"Marilla, isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"