You’d think motherhood would be anxiety activator numero uno, with a capital Uno – and before I hatched my fetus just weeks ago, I’d have bet my life on it, too. But the truth is: every day, I’m exponentially happier than the day before. I smile more. I laugh more. I don’t care about the stupid things I used to worry about. I guess I’ve just always liked midgets so much. It’s either that or I’m just really high on breastfeeding hormones.
I’m sure the four-month vacay from work isn’t hurting, either. Every day I’m not writing about three-node RAC clusters and VM deduplication is another day my inner monologue creeps back up to audible decibels. Instead of zombie-shuffling through monotonous workdays focused only on the best way to arrange IT jargon, my brain meat is once again free to engage in the kind of observations that once fueled this blog. I’m starting to feel like myself again in a way I never could while obsessing over work. Of course the zygote’s still got me pretty sleep deprived. But I’m coming back to life. And it’s all because of her.
The best thing about The Midge is that she’s a goddamn chameleon. One second she’s clones with Kim Jong Un – with her straight black hair and half-mast almond peepers; the next, she’s no longer a fat little Korean man in drag but a hungry, one-eyed pirate. When she’s full, all stuffed and smug, she resembles the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland: her mouth a perfect circle inside huge round cheeks, her soft double chin resting on crossed rolly wrists and a plump rolly body.
Holding her the other night, I reveled in her ability to channel the visage of an aging Elizabeth Taylor. I could see The Midge as an old lady, inching her cart of freeze-dried astro-food groceries down a Brooklyn street. She’d stop to reprimand a cluster of kids on a stoop. Clad in shiny silver suits, they’d stop playing Who Can Mind Meld the Best Hologram and laugh as Midge croaked out such anachronistic dictums as, “Turn down that iPod, whippersnappers! You can’t just go blasting your MP3s all willy nilly!”
Imagining my daughter, so new to this world, so full of life and promise, nearing the end of her time here made me think about heaven. If everything went properly, I’d have been waiting for her up there for a couple decades before her back would begin to stoop and her hair gray. But how could any place be called heaven if my daughter isn’t there with me? It hit me then that this is my heaven: holding her tiny, warm body to my chest, knowing she’s safe, healthy, and content. Right now, I thought, I am in heaven. I could almost feel the immensity of gratitude one would if they’d lost their dearest loved one only to be reunited.
I thought about how wonderful it is to hold your sleeping baby. To be able to just place her where you want her and it’s exactly where she wants to be as well. For now, she’s not getting into cars with boys. For now, she’s not at college 15 states away. She’s not busy with her own kids and life. She’s simply peacefully unaware of anything other than love and milk and sleep. A grin flickered at the corners of her lips, as she nestled deeper against me. This, I thought, is exactly why she makes me so happy: She forces me to be present and grateful.
She looked up at me then, holding my gaze with such a serious intensity that I believed she knew my thoughts, that we were connected on some deep, telekinetic level. And, looking into my eyes with that unflinching stare…she ripped the loudest, longest shart I’ve ever heard. I laughed so hard Raul came in to ask what the hell was wrong with me. I guess I’m just in love.
For my first monologue, I shall reenact “An Insanely Inappropriate Use of One’s Sphincter Muscles,” from the movie Stepbrothers.