Here’s something I wrote on March 18, 2008, but never published for some strange reason. Two and a half years later, these words still ring true for me — especially the last line.
I didn’t really notice it until J pointed it out. Then I couldn’t stop noticing it.
As we got ready to have a child, and shortly after her actual birth, some folks felt compelled to tell us: “Your life is gonna change forever,” or some variation on that theme.
That seems blindingly obvious. Having a child is a major event. I fully expected my life to change. But the constant repetition of this mantra — “your life is going to change forever” — became kind of annoying, and kind of anxiety-provoking. Why were people telling me this over and over again? Was there something I was missing, something I should be anticipating that I was clueless about?
Some people were actually challenging: “You do realize your lives are gonna change forever, right?”
So I started asking the obvious question: “Yeah, sure, my life is gonna change — but how?”
I was disappointed by the banality of some answers: “You can’t just go out and get a beer with your buddies.” Other people tried a little harder: “Your time is no longer your own.” One of the best answers came from a guy named Armando who runs a cigar shop in the Quarter: “It’s impossible to describe!” Probably the best nugget of wisdom came from my friend Mike Leonard, who identified the change as consisting of the fact that our child’s life would be more important to us than our own. Simple but profound. Ironically, Mike doesn’t have kids, but obviously he has some insight into the human condition.
It had been my plan before Persephone was born to post up here asking for predictions on how our lives would change. But she beat me to the punch. Now that she’s here it seems like a silly question.
But maybe not. Truth be known, after all the hoopla about our lives “changing forever” I’m mostly struck by the sense of continuity.
The biggest changes are still ahead.