While we were up in Vail, we ran into a friend from our days in the Valley. Now, the Vail Valley is a bit of an anomaly when it comes to lifestyle. There are a lot of "Peter Pans", both male and female, and I would not be able to honestly say that one could never have counted my husband and I among those. But this particular friend was one of the more grounded and down-to-earth people that we knew while there. Perhaps for that reason, when we ran into her with our three-year-old in tow, my husband asked her if she and her partner had any plans to have children. She responded with the requisite amount of cringing, but said that, yes, they had considered it. 

"I just don't know," she said, wincing a little. "I mean, I'd like to. But at the same time, I get to thinking, and there are so many factors involved. I mean...I like my sleep!"

And here's the thing: we like our sleep too. Neither my husband nor I are naturally early risers.
Also, you've got to factor in the fact that both my husband and I believed for much of our lives that we would never have children. It was on neither of our to-do lists for life. Both of us progressed well into adulthood believing that we had no intention of settling down and raising a family. 

AND YET, two and a half years into motherhood, I felt compelled to stop this girl, take her by the shoulders, look deep into her eyes, and tell her the following things: 




Parenthood is the greatest romance of your life. 
Parenthood is the greatest adventure of your life. 
Every waking moment of parenthood will afford you more giddy  infatuation than any highschool prom or first declaration of love that you can imagine, more thrills and chills than the highest rollercoaster you could ever hope to ride, more vicarious glamour than the Oscars, more dramedy than the Royal Shakespeare Company, more vicarious glee than ten seasons of the Housewives of Orange County, and more contentment that 30 ounces of dark Italian chocolate, a foot massage, and a shot of Courvoisier. 

Basically, I'm speechless. I'm going to have to defer here to Cole Porter and say: 

You're the top!
You're the Colloseum.
You're the top!
You're the Louvre Museum.
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss
You're a Bendel bonnet,
A Shakespeare's sonnet,
You're Mickey Mouse.
You're the Nile,
You're the Tower of Pisa,
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, baby, I'm the bottom you're the top! 

Here's to you, Q. 


Cara said...

So true. Although now that my daughter is fast asleep a foot massage and a shot of Courvoisier sound pretty pretty good (Larry David voice).
I thank my lucky star every day for such a profound gift. It's beyond words.

Justine said...

There is nothing like being parents, being a mother. You may wake up early in the morning, you may be tired sometimes, but it's definitely the greatest joy ever!! Everyday, I say to Mimi that I love her and that she is my little wonder but I never write it in my blog and maybe I should because it would be written and she could see when she grows up how much I love her.Q will be soon able to read your blog and read all the love for her you write in it. You're so right to write it here.

alliot / iza said...

Maia, I can't agree more on your words on parenthood!!
I can hardly imagine what my life would like before we have our child. She leads us to see ourselves and experience our lives so differently.
I love your words.
Q's beautiful face and eyes melt my heart.
She's adorable.

Signe said...

Aaaah, this totally gave me the chills! And maybe especially since my mom keeps telling me the same thing over and over again. I am a bit reluctant to have children myself and she will tell me "there is just no way to understand how it is to have children until you get your own"

Here is to a fab weekend - for you and for Q :)

(And she really is the cutest btw!)

kenza said...

oh! yes!
Hello little charlie!

Yanyan said...

I love what you wrote, I echo what you wrote. Although I have not had one night decent sleep in three years, although our life, my body has completely changed because of the two of them, being parents has made us better person, kinder person. I am thankful everyday, they are more important than life itself to me...Q's sweet face beautiful eyes is so precious!

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Cara - I wouldn't mind that foot massage, either ;)

Justine - I can see the same joy and love in your photos of Mimi. No need to write it down. I used to be a writer, so there are moments when I feel compelled to write an essay on the blog. Those moments, fortunately, are rare!

Alliot, anyone who has followed your blog would know that you feel the same way. Your photos are full of a mother's great (and artful) love.

Signe - my mother tried to tell me too, for so many years, and I just couldn't imagine what she was talking about. I couldn't wrap my mind around it. It made no sense to me. It really is impossible to imagine, before being a mother, what it is like. It's not for everyone, I think, but it is one of the great wonders of the world.

Kenza, again, you are one of those whose love for your child shines through every word and photo that you post. Your blog is tenderness embodied.

Yanyan - I will never know what it's like to give birth to a child and raise it from the start. I can only imagine that it has a deep effect on the body and mind. I would not have done it any other way (only because the road I took lead me to the Q, and I can't bear to imagine my life without her in it). But I do sometimes wish I'd had the experience of carrying a child and giving birth to it, body changes and sleepless nights notwithstanding. It's an experience I will never know in this lifetime. But so be it. I have the Q, and every day I wonder at what her birth mother went through (and what she thinks to this day) that made it possible for us to be her second set of parents. It's mind-boggling.

Yoli said...

YES! oh YES! If that friend ever gets to hold her child she will know.

kitchu said...

your love for her is an inspiration Maia. pure inspiration.