I had an idea for a very complete and well-thought out post that would juxstapose the idea that parenthood forces you into being a new person with the way being in a wedding forces you to evaluate who you were and are now to the person who is getting married. But then the Browns won and there were just alot of things to do and now here we are on Monday night.
The long and short of it was that when you become a parent, there is a TON of peripheral emphasis (after they tell you about not shaking the baby, car seats, feeding, taking care of the circumcision, etc. etc) put on the idea of maintaining your identity.
There’s so much going on and so much of your time is consumed and the new responsibility is so overwhelming and so constant, that it’s easy to only worry or think about or anticipating the needs of the baby.
Then you disappear. And it doesn’t take that long.
Weeks, not months.
So you, or you and your partner come up with these weird, emergency self-preservation plans that you vow to stick to no matter what, where you each get an hour to yourself everyday or you will each spend whatever amount of time outside or doing chores or exercising. And those fall apart. Fast. Usually by day two. You remember them right around day eight and say, wait, what the fuck happened to our plan? Then you come up with a new plan. It goes on like this in a cycle for the first year or so. But by then time is rolling in and slipping away like ocean waves and dust storms.
Eventually you realize why you or you and your partner were never able to keep those plans.
You arent those people any more.
Whatever you liked before you had the baby, you still like, but you aren’t going to be able to like it the same lazy, organized way you did before.
Now, you’re a parent. And as a new parent, you’re a baby too. You’re tired, you’re whiney, you’re hard to get along with, you’re not good at upholding obligations, and you don’t know how to do basic things that once came so easily. Even those things that you enjoy and call “your” thing. The things that define who you are.
You still like the same things. But you will experience them in a new way. And its not easy. Thats the other thing. Even when you find out how to enjoy something, it may not be easy.
You are doing all of your right hand things with your left hands.
And then your best friend gets engaged and you’re going to be in his wedding. And you realize you are the only person in the wedding with a child and as the wedding date approaches you have not had a chance to get in shape like you wanted. You have not been able to talk to your friend about the wedding or marriage or really be there in the way that normal decent people who call one another friend would be.
I don’t know the basic shit. And if I was told and I probably was, then I have forgotten it becasue I was only half listening because I was watching to make sure that my kid doesn’t get ambitious and try to barrel up the stairs with his plastic orange star or something. He can’t put on pants, but it seems like he can devise a thirty-two point plan if it means he touches an outlet or opening the baby-gate.
So weddings and babies make you realize who you were and who you are.
While you might still be clinging to your old self, trying to find a why to let go, your engaged friend might be clinging to your old self too and trying to find a way to let go. And you might see that its harder for them then you. Or vice versa. Either way, you probably learn what you need to learn from that. At least hopefully.
Just make sure they know that even if you’re different, you aren’t gone. And that can take as much if not more work than a disappearing act.
Over the last 48 hours, I came up with so many poiniant, throwaway lines to work into this post. The only one I can thing of is, I Am Nostalgia. So there is our title.
We’ll probably get into all of this in more detail later on.
Especially that Brown’s win. (Holy shit can you believe it?!!!)
And the Wedding.
And the up coming Business Trip.
The future is ripe.
On a parting book note. I started reading Nobody Is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey. I picked this up after hearing about Catherine Lacey and I beleive this specific title on the So Many Damn Books Podcast when Amelia Gray was on. I read Gutshot later than I wanted to or should have and have Threats waiting in the wings. I have heard her in multiple podcasts now and having rear Gutshot (and quite honestly been completely taken aback) I did not hesitate to heed her recommendation. I think I have had NIEM since May, as I think I received it from my wife as a birthday present. I did not read word one until tonight and I can tell you….hold shit. I am only 20 pages in, but if the rest is anything like the first three chapters, its going to be a top ten of the year, for sure. I haven’t made any other recommendations here yer and I havent finished the book but if you like meditative tone of The Gloaming by Melanie Finn and short, rabbit punches of Bud Smith in Double Bird or The Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill then do not hesitate to check out this book by Catherine Lacey. I read the first line and I was hooked. I read the first chapter and I knew I was in for the real deal.