Throughout my life thus far, I have learned the lesson that (nearly) everything in life comes with a cost. Early on, it was the literal monetary cost. The candy bar at the grocery store? Fifty cents. The Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal at the Disney store? Fifteen Dollars.
With age, other “costs” became more apparent. Skip middle school “cheerleading” to be in a local community theatre musical? Less friends at school. Drive too fast in icy weather? The car WILL spin out (thankfully for me… never in any harm-causing way!)
Costs. Consequences, if you will. They are a part of life. And now, as a new parent, I find myself contemplative of the new “costs” that have entered my life over the past five (plus) months.
I’m emotional all the time. Most often, for no reason at all. Why do I cry when I’m driving to work? Or when I sit in the bathtub at night? I’m not sad. These are not “tears of joy.” (Don’t get me wrong… both of those tears make appearances, too). I just cry. The “cost” here isn’t the crying (it feels good to cry!). It’s the awkward feeling of trying to stop myself from crying during normal day to day life so people don’t look at me like I’m loony.
Lack of sleep. A cost that needs little description, so I’ll say no more.
Feeling like half of myself in everything I do. Career-wise I’m not as “good” as I feel I once was. I didn’t do gingerbread houses this year. (UGH!). I’m sending fewer videos/pictures to parents because I’m only doing “school things” while I’m at school this year. My social life? Significantly reduced. Weekly cousin dinners have turned into monthly. Opening night parties at the RTG have not occurred (Heck! I missed the entire run of ”A Christmas Carol”) and I likely won’t be seeing any other shows in the near future. My ability to successfully lead our youth musical group at church has been tarnished. Even this blog! I am able to creatively “release” with much less frequency, and I will soon be hitting “publish” before what is usually several more edits and revisions.
I’m half of me, because the other half is “Mom.” And the “Mom” role feels like it needs at least 1.5 of “me” to be sufficient.
Obviously there are literal costs to a baby as well. With Ben… a REALLY big initial cost.
The costs are high.
Ironically… the “costs” were not the original inspiration for this blog post. Quite the opposite, in fact.
I was sitting in Ben’s room, rocking in the most comfortable of rocking chairs.
The sound machine humming.
A calm blue light emitting from the humidifier.
Ben’s entire body (which has gotta be 20 lbs by now) laying asleep against my chest. His warm, chubby, soft cheek pressed lightly against my own.
Rock. Rock. Rock.
Baby inhales and baby exhales.
And all I feel is pure and utter joy. I sit there each night and wonder if the feeling I feel is a little piece of Heaven. It’s almost magical. The warmth, the pressure, and the unconditional love.
Sure, there are costs. But I’d pay them a thousand times over for just one more moment in that rocking chair.
Rock. Rock. Rock.
Merry Christmas, Little Man.