Posted on | March 23, 2011 | 11 Comments
When I graduated from law school, I already had a job. Not only did I have a job, I had a job in the city I already lived in, with people I already knew. I was on top of the world.
Every morning, I would put on my business casual attire and my snazzy heels and drive myself to work, listening to music with the windows down. Every morning, I would park in the “Attorneys Only” row of spaces behind the building, let myself in and trek up the three flights of stairs to my office. Every morning, I would turn on my computer, sit back in my comfortable chair, and get to work. I had picked the paint color in my office. I had pictures of UNC-Chapel Hill and framed diplomas. I had my books and papers and I was very much an attorney. I was on top of the world.
We bought a house mid-way between where we used to live and where my office was. We decorated and hung pictures. I planted a short-lived garden. We took turns doing lawn maintenance and trimming the hedges in front of the windows. We taught our dog to run outside and use the bathroom in the yard and then come back in when he was finished. We met our neighbors. We loved our neighbors. We had friends in town and local activities we were a part of. I was on top of the world.
The morning after Christmas in 2008, we found out I was pregnant. We painted a nursery. We shopped consignment sales. We bought a rocking chair. We hung pictures and made plans. We bought clothes and toys and painted little wooden letters that spelled out J-U-D-E. We made several uneventful trips and one very eventful trip to the hospital and we brought home our baby boy. I was on top of the world.
We spent sleepless nights. We fought. We made up. We played the same games over and over and over again. We videoed first smiles, first crawls, first songs. We had a daycare we loved. We watched Baby Einstein videos and listened to Raffi. We witnessed first tears, first teeth, first food, first illness, and first recovery. We watched our baby grow into a person, full of personality. I was on top of the world.
And now, we live in a different city, in a different home, with different friends and different jobs. We have a different daycare, different cars, and very different business casual clothes. There are lines on skin that used to be smooth. There are scars on hearts that used to be pristine. There are bumps in the night and breaks in the arms. There are new worries, new problems, new sleepless nights.
There is a father where there used to be only a husband.
There is a mother where there used to be just a lawyer.
There is a family where there used to be a twosome.
There is a toddler where there used to be a baby.
And with all the changes and the drama and the new fears and worries, with all the crazy mess and the “No! Mine!” there are also pictures on the refrigerator, chalk drawings on the patio, and always bubbles. There are fewer drives to work with the windows down and the radio up, but there are more laughs and snuggles and overpowering feelings of pure, unadulterated love.
For almost four years I have been an attorney. For almost four years, I have been a wife. For three years, I have been a home owner. All that time, I thought I was on top of the world. But for all those memories of amazing times and amazing occurrences, I can honestly say that now, with my dirty sweater and slicked back, too rushed to blow dry hair; now with my flats instead of heels and my purse full of pacifiers… NOW is when I’m on top of the world. Sure, there are fights. Yes, there are times when I think back fondly on the days when my son was immobile in a bouncy seat. Absolutely there are moments when I’d like to go back to him being unable to talk and therefore unable to scream “LAY DOWN!” at me for the seventieth time.
But this stage? This sweet, babbly boy? This little, precious, package of joy who thinks I hung the moon in my spare time?
Yeah. He’s what it’s about. He’s where it is. He is everything. And he’s put me at the top of the world. (Where, coincidentally, I plan to stay until he removes me when he reaches puberty.)