Today my four-month old son unleashed a river of spit up on me. And afterwards as he was smiling his crooked self-satisfied smile and I was dabbing myself off with a used-too-many-times-already burp cloth, I smiled right back at him and thought "he's so adorable". It was only later that I stopped and wondered what exactly has happened to me. Me, the girl who has been obsessed with fashion since she was two years old, has suddenly become the woman in spit-up covered sweatpants day in and day out. And not only that, but I'm okay with it. More than that? I'm happy about it.
As I look around our 900 square foot apartment, there is nary a high heel in sight. They've been replaced by too-bright-for-my-muted-tastes bouncers and swings. The heels have been banished to the back of my closet and replaced with flats, or if I'm feeling bold, a wedge. Our apartment has become overrun by baby paraphernalia, and our conversations wrought with "did he poop today" talks. I spend more time looking at baby clothing sites than I do for myself, and when I do find a shirt for me, I do the "pull-down" test to determine if my little guy can easily show off my goods to the world with one quick tug (the answer is almost always yes- it seems a wardrobe of turtlenecks is in my future).
How exactly this all happened to me (aside from the obvious science stuff) is still a mystery to me. I never wanted children. I wanted a closet full of nice clothes, a packed social schedule, a passport full of stamps to places I've always dreamed of, a life of moving from one city to the next so that I could experience all that our world has to offer. And now? Now all I want is for my son to grow up and be a kind-hearted, happy person. I've traded the dream of Louboutin's for the dream of a big backyard for my son and his Dad to play catch in.
Everyone tells you that when you have your own child, something in you shifts. But I don't think I quite realized that they meant "knock the world off its axis" type of shift. I've become the mom that spams her social media feeds with photos of her son. Who wants to tell everyone that will listen "he grabbed at his toys today!". Who doesn't understand what she possibly did with all of that sleep in her "before baby" life. I cry at commercials that show babies growing up. I picture what my son will look like in 5, 10, 20 years. I think about the day that I get to be "Mother of the Groom".
But then I look down at that same crooked smile. The one that still has spit up around the edges. And I want to live forever in this exact moment. I want time to stand still and I want to take mental pictures until my brain is completely filled with nothing but his smile. But then the clock ticks to the next minute and I realize that he's growing up, quite literally, before my eyes and I start the mental pictures process all over again. And at some point, I'll get up and wipe the spit up off myself. But not right now. Because right now he's still smiling at me.