Ahh what a glorious Memorial Day weekend it has been! The weather is gorgeous, I have eaten a ton of guiltful foods (totally just made up a word), and I had lots of quality family time. One of the things I had been looking forward to most about this weekend was that my brother and sister-in-law were in town from Arizona. They moved out there from Manhattan last summer, and it has definitely been strange seeing so little of them this year after all the planned sleepovers, family events, and impromptu dinners the four of us used to have. It was really great to see them – I picked them up at the airport the night they arrived and stayed up way past my bedtime having a glass of wine and sharing snacks while we caught up. For a change, I wasn’t rushing toward bed, even if I was constantly glancing at the clock calculating how many hours until the baby would be wide awake at 6:00 am.
That evening we talked about a lot of things – what it has been like for them in Arizona, my brother’s grad school program, my sister-in-law’s job, the latest family drama, the baby. The baby. The Baby. At one point the conversation turned to pregnancy too, but I self-consciously steered it away, trying my hardest not to make it all about me and my kid. I felt like I was holding my breath, waiting until later to let all the baby-ness out. I wanted to enjoy my brother and sister-in-law, and I didn’t want to alienate or annoy them. I don’t want us to be THOSE people with kids. To my delight and relief, I later found out that my brother’s friend from high school was coming with his wife to my parents’ picnic on Saturday. I waited and waited with anticipation and was so inordinately happy to see them! Other people with kids, I said to my husband! Other people with kids!
Before I had my daughter, I thought that parents were a teeny bit on the snooty and self-centered side. It always seemed like they had a superiority complex. I felt like I couldn’t socialize with them because they were – or thought they were – in a class above. Something like, “Oh hi. I created a PERSON. What have YOU done with your life?” Since becoming a mom, I have learned that the opposite is actually true! There is no pretense over here. On the contrary, I desperately want to be around other parents because I feel like a loser among the child-free! I look at them, their carefully chosen attire, dangly accessories, the light of possibilities in their eyes, and I can’t think of a damn thing to talk about that isn’t directly kid related. I feel like the most uninteresting person in the world.
Before baby, I promised myself that life wouldn’t completely stop, and really, it hasn’t. My husband and I have been out to eat and seen some current movies, and I am even (unfortunately) still up to date with top 40 radio and reality TV. I also still work, and it’s a job that I am passionate about and enjoy talking about, even! You would think that I would have plenty of conversation to make. The problem is that somehow post-baby I always manage to bring the conversation back to her. Or breastfeeding. Or pregnancy. I don’t know how it happens. So basically, it is a huge relief to be around other parents. They really get it because they have experienced it themselves – a life quite happily consumed by baby. And to all my child-free friends? I guess I am just another casualty of parenting.