Sunday, December 26, 2010

Forever December

I have always wanted to be a “crafty” person. In elementary school I watched in envy as the other kids created masterpieces in art class while my projects always seemed to look like a catastrophic collision of glue, popsicle sticks and construction paper. Throughout my life I’ve made attempts at being crafty. In high school I went through a very exciting modge podge phase where anything and everything I touched was modge podged with magazine clippings- you name it- picture frames, frappucino bottles, plastic cups, even a Zio’s bread server. It was a very cool hobby. More recently I have tried other projects that are somewhat hit and miss, but none the less, I would call myself a very uncrafty person.
I have always made the excuse that I’m not crafty because I just don’t have time. I have always worked full time and don’t have time to devote to creating magical items with my own two hands. That’s been my same excuse for housework. I’d love to care about dusting, cleaning my baseboards and scrubbing my oven, but I just don’t have time. That’s at least what I tell myself and my husband. And for the most part, we don’t really care that much. In my darkest hours of self doubt, that's what I was scared being a mother would be- something I would like to be good at, but that I'm not. Whether it's because I just don't have the time or I'm just not a natural at it. Early last year, I started a little experiment to see if that was the case...

For the past 9 weeks, I have been able to stay at home, thanks to a federally mandated regulation called the Family and Medical Leave Act. My husband and I brought home our handsome prince of a baby and Boom! the world changed forever. The first 4 weeks I just tried to keep my head above water. There were days that I wondered if there was a world outside the corners of my house and sunshine seemed to be something only seen in pictures. After a few weeks though, this new life started to seem more manageable and I started to realize that I can leave my house, take my baby, wear makeup, and all of those things that I wondered if I would ever do again. With the weird awkwardness of being a brand new mom mostly behind me, I entered the month of December and...ah, bliss.
I will say with unabashed, anti-feminist, sap-dripping honesty that I have loved every moment of being home with my two gentlemen over the month of December. I always thought that I would get bored if I were to stay home. How can you find enough to do with a 2-month old? I mean, all they do it eat, sleep and poop, right?! No one could ever have told me how head over heels in love I would be with this new little man in my life. No one could have ever told me how much my heart would melt when he smiles when he looks at my face or how much pride I would feel over hearing him say "nnn ga" (I'm not kidding- he really says it).
With the new year comes an end to this honeymoon and the "back to reality" moment I have been dreading since I saw the plus sign on a pregnancy test. I will always look back on this month as being the woman that I never thought I would be..but loving it.
I tried my hand this month and making my own Christmas gifts. I mean, how can you mess up giving a family member pictures of your newborn? Apparently I can. So I found that the factor that makes me uncrafty isn't not having the time to do it-it's just apparently that I'm not talented. But I hope that being a mom will stick. I hope that I will always love laying in the floor playing with my baby, memorizing where all of his little fat rolls are and racing my husband to see who gets to wake our baby up first in the morning. These are the precious moments that I have loved in the month of December and the things that I feel like I will lose in just a few short weeks. The months ahead will be filled with bittersweetness- getting to watch my little boy get bigger and smarter and even more handsome, but knowing that I will have to miss many precious moments of his life while I'm doing something far less important- like ensuring compliance with state and federal labor laws and investigating sexual harassment complaints. Nice.
Even though my days may be cut short, God has given me the gift of being the constant in my little boy's life. So as the days of December fall off the calendar, this month turns from something ahead to a memory that I will treasure with everything I have. I didn't know that being home with "mom" and "wife" as my only titles could ever make me feel so accomplished. December, 2010: the most meaningful month of my life.

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