March 23rd, 2012
I have finally figured it out. Solved all of my problems. Decided to come clean. No, really. I’ve discovered a magical elixir and called it “context.” Here’s the thing… I knew it would come to me, the familiar aches and pains of change, and I’d be able to put it all into perspective.
So. You know that first year of living with someone who isn’t a roommate? How it’s terrifically wonderful and terrifically awkward all rolled up into one? For me, the adjustment to full-time life as a couple wasn’t an easy one — I was not used to having someone else around all the time. It took me months to become accustomed to my RRHB’s ways, and I’m sure it was the same for him. Our cats were fighting. We were fighting. He hated my favourite black bean soup recipe. I really disliked his sheets and pillows. There was an adjustment period. Things got better. We separated the fighting cats. I started to sleep better. We had a fabulous apartment, a terrific social life, and lots of great neighbours. We had a life.
And that’s what I think these last few months have been: an adjustment period. Now, there’s a whole other human in our lives all the time. I know I’m stating the obvious, the kid is 18 months old, but for many of them, he was a baby-shaped piece of luggage, portable, happily watered, fed, and cuddled, and not so much a raging, delicious little toddler who barrels through both of our lives at break-neck speeds. See, all it took was a little perspective, a gentle understanding that all of those next steps in your life result in some pretty tough days. Then, you bounce back, and have some terrific days. Then, something else crashes into your life and there’s another adjustment period. No one is entirely happy in the face of change. It’s my general understanding that humans kick and scream as they race headlong into situations that need to be reckoned with, in a sense. No one happily skips along like Alice down the rabbit-hole, well, except Alice of course. We hide behind our habits. Bury ourselves deep in our lives and simply wait for perspective to appear.
But it doesn’t work that way — you can’t see it when you’re in it. And it’s even harder to slip outside of yourself to take note, make a to-do list of all the things that are different, with a check box for “dealt with it YES/NO” along the side. This little human has made us three. We were two point five for the longest time, punctuated by lack of sleep and a very depressed bank statement, but the happiest days were spent as long walks and good talks and maybe a movie and some really terrible Chinese take-out. Now, he’s got two legs and wants to use them, never in the right direction. He’s got a very strong-willed, anti-French bebe mind when we’re out for brunch (for the first time in MONTHS). He wants to eat dirt and rotten lettuce heads and cigarette butts and no fresh fruit and even less green vegetables. He has stopped enjoying the bath five out of seven nights because it interrupts whatever VERY IMPORTANT thing he might be doing at the moment. And it’s all awesome. But it’s also very very different from working, coming home, writing, reading, watching TV, sleeping, repeating, rinsing, washing, lathering, and then a vacation or two.
So, yes, I’ve got it all sorted out in my head, now. It’s an adjustment period. We will hang on with our fingertips and realign our wheels and type out all kinds of other mixed metaphors and eventually discover in a few months that we have adjusted, settled our fighting cats, and put our shoes on the right feet, and carry on in the right direction despite the wind, the rain, the obscure summer in March, and/or any other kind of other season/weather that might happen along.