Hideous Glory

Life has never been so full.

So full of love and exhaustion and activity.

What did I do before kids we ask, forgetting the joyous revelery of doing everything, nothing, whatever we wanted.

Before having a child seemed like the remotest possibillity, a friend joked that his friend who was newly a Daddy said that he didn't know what he did with all his time before - that, in fact - he could have been Prime Minister with
the oodles of time, energy, and commitment to nothing in particular that used to characterize his life.

It's amazing that I want to do NOTHING, literally nothing, and in the half hour intervals of time I get to myself my body literally buzzes with a confused mix of I want to do EVERYTHING I don't get to do and also that I want to life prostrate on the couch, corpse-like, with no worries, fears, responsibilities, dreams even.

I want to venture into nothingness in the same way that I want to eat french fries at every meal.

So. A lot.

It isn't a losing oneself exactly, I have already been through that and the results were questionably successful.

It's more a negation of all thought, all care, all sense of being something.

Especially someone's mother.

When I was a child-free expert on children, I judged. Harshly. I judged the ways that mothers did or did not attend to their children, or teach them, or guide them "appropriately."

Now I get the mothers who neglect and who struggle in ways that I hope I never will.

I get the want to give up. To forget about the little lives so dependent on you for everything.

Literally survival.

It's so much. Too much. So sometimes it feels unfair.

I told a friend that I know I can't have another child because I don't want to be someone else's mother.

And that's the truth.

I can't.

Won't.

It's so much responsibility.

And a kind of responsibility that you can never forget. That never ends. That haunts your days and keeps you up at night.

And the most perverse thing about parenthood - about motherhood - is that it does, in the end, fulfill a piece of your soul that needs to be filled.

That was carved out for this living being.

This life that is as much yours as it is not.

So satisfying.

In all its hideous glory.