We headed out to Chicago a few weeks ago for a wedding. When I was in the bathroom washing my hands during the wedding reception, a woman next to me said that I looked tired. I replied, perhaps curtly, that I was tired. She was nice, perhaps a Midwesterner, and suggested that I was tired just from having so much fun. I looked up at her reflection in the mirror and said that I have a baby at home. She smiled knowingly and told me she was still tired from her first baby (the woman must have been at least in her 50s). As the woman left the bathroom, she turned and said, "There are two kinds of people in this world. People who have kids and people who don't."
Indeed. And not so long ago I was in the second category of people. Now I found myself in the middle of a wedding weekend with a heightened awareness of all of the ways that life changes when you jump into the first category.
There are the obvious differences. I used to have enough time to apply make-up properly. I used to drink as much champagne and wine as I wanted. I used to see the dance floor as an opportunity to win any Dance Off that came my way. I used to be part of the late night celebration. I like to think that I used to be a good conversationalist.
Each of those differences generally turns on the fact that I used to live with the luxury of seeing the world through my eyes alone. But now, my perspective has been permanently altered.
In Chicago, at the rehearsal dinner, the groom stood up and thanked his father for hosting the dinner. For about two whole seconds, the groom looked at his father in the exact same way I see Baby look up at me and my husband. It melts my heart when Baby does it, and when I saw the groom do it as an adult, I got tears in my eyes.
So maybe, at least for the foreseeable future, my face will have haphazardly applied blush and eyeliner, I will only have a glass or two of wine, and I will struggle to make conversation, let alone cut a rug - but I wouldn't trade any of it for being able to see (and feel) this whole new kind of love.