Patience or Practice? – by Lisa Kelly
Where has the time gone? Sleepless nights, hundreds of diapers changed and bottles made, and milestones just zipping by. Back to work and almost done with another term of school. I can’t remember how old the leftover potato soup is in the fridge because I’m still stuck in a day that has lasted almost four months. That’s right. Baby girl is almost four months old. Today she rolled over by herself. Just like that! From newborn and helpless to rolling over and squealing because holy cow, she just did something so cool!!
Some days I think I might explode with joy but truth be told, lots of days I’m just mad. I’m mad at this world for not taking better care of each other. I’m mad that I brought a innocent life into this crazy place. I’m mad that my body is taking so much longer to bounce back than it did 20 years ago. I’m mad that my family lives ten hours away. I’m mad that the people who, upon hearing I was pregnant at 45, said “Oh my God! I’m glad it’s you and not me!!” are the same people giving me lectures about counting my blessings and thinking positive. Really, hypocrites? You couldn’t do this but I’m expected to do it every day with a big smile on my face just so you don’t have to experience unpleasantness when I need to vent?
I know I have many blessings. A great job. A good husband. A beautiful baby. The only really bad thing is that Ava has developed severe reflux. She is still happier than ever but those around her are covered in spit-up and I’m doing three loads of laundry a day. Her brother had the same thing. Friends will say I am more patient as an older parent but I know I just have practice. That, and I’m tired. I don’t feel the need this time around to keep three square meals a day on the table for my husband and the house spotless to please my mother. I don’t care if the pile of clean burp rags is dwindling. I just buy more! (We own 30 of them now) This blurry, exhausting period of time is a lot more about me and my daughter and a whole lot less about anyone else. Some have remarked that I’ve lost my sparkling smile and carefree attitude. Maybe but I like to think I give that all to Ava. Ava, my sweet little accident with the contagious smile. She throws up everywhere and still smiles. I tell her she’s like a happy little drunk. If only we could all smile through the bad hiccups of life.
Most days I have it together but on my off days I will tell you this baby was the biggest mistake of my life. She’s not. She’s teaching me to be patient and understanding. She is just what I needed to slow me down and make me appreciate the things I’ve spent my lifetime working so hard for. She is my biggest blessing.