the smell of my desperation has become a stench

In the moment

A couple of days ago I volunteered in Leta’s kindergarten class for a writing workshop they hold every week, and since I show up early for everything I got to talk to her teacher while the kids finished playing outside. She said Leta was integrating well and asked how it was at home with the newborn, and suddenly I’m reflexively gushing about how much I love it and can’t get enough.

GAH?

WHA?? WHO???

And I found myself wanting to talk about how that morning when Marlo woke up at 3 AM to feed I couldn’t wait to snuggle her up under my arm and lie there with her fuzzy head up under my chin. OH! And our favorite part of the day now is the moment Leta pokes her head into our bedroom in the morning and whispers with a scream, “IS THE BABY AWAKE?!” Her head a giant mushroom cloud of tangles as she runs and hops up in between us, and Marlo looks up with a grin so wide there is no room left on the bed.

Yeah, there are really frustrating times, experiences everyone has as they juggle this kid off to school while trying to make the house quiet for the other kid’s nap. And work and errands jammed into the tiny cracks of time left in the day. But that baby… I don’t know how to explain what she’s done to me, to Jon, and especially to Leta who loves her more than anything else in her life, who now shows a level of tenderness and generosity that I didn’t know she possessed. It’s like Marlo has brought us to Here, with the capital H, that place we’ve always been trying to get to, the place that always seemed unattainable and out of reach. She’s brought us into The Now, and it feels absolutely magical.

I will always remember how hard it was the first time, and I will always sympathize with women who struggle they way that I did. But now I feel like I can understand the others who beamed when talking about life with an infant. I get it now. Yes, I know this makes me some droning mommyblogger, but I also hope that this, from the perspective of someone who has lived through the blinding demons of sadness and hopelessness, might give someone out there a glimpse of what it can be, and maybe they’ll go for it.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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