I fell into parenting in the same way I’ve fallen into everything else in my life: an opportunity presented itself to me, I made a choice, and have reaped the consequences ever since. I don’t pretend to be Type-A enough to have a five year plan unless it involves the phrase “Don’t Die” as it’s sole criteria, and this is fine by me.

Alex was a deliberately executed child, although the circumstances surrounding his conception were, of course, up in the air (the whole marriage thing didn’t matter to me as much as it did to The Daver), but even after having had one child, I was in no way prepared for having another.

I’ve always expected to write off the first year of a child’s life as not having much real joy in it, between the colic, the sleepless nights, and the formidable task of having to learn all about a new person without so much as a guidebook to consult. It seems easier to me to have the defeatist “everything about this is going to suck” attitude than to try to piss rainbows and sunshine about it and be disappointed when things don’t work out exactly as planned.

But today, after prying the Wii controllers out of the hands of the Elder Sausages and interrupting their Saturday morning Sitting On Our Asses Routine, I packed all three of The Sausages into the Meat Wagon and led the way to a local bakery to select a cake for Alex’s first birthday party (March 30th for those local and expecting an invite, which should be arriving this week sometime).

After carefully selecting a cake that is quite reminiscent of our wedding cake (see, I have a Cake Fetish. I don’t like to eat it because I am insane, but I require fancy-assed cakes for most occasions), and paying the approximate cost of a down payment on a house for it, I was overtaken by an emotion that I couldn’t quite place.

Suddenly, I felt light and buoyant, like a rather chubby balloon floating in the breeze. I could hear the birds singing (no small feat in the dead of winter here) and smell the teeniest hint of spring on the air. Alex’s babbling became the most adorable thing I’d ever heard, and Ben’s incessant monologuing suddenly seemed the perfect backdrop for the day. Hell, even Dave’s Rank Ass became more tolerable to my delicate girlish sense of smell.

For the first time in several years, I felt completely at ease with myself and the world around me. Life seemed to be more for living and less for surviving.

It’s really a glorious feeling, and it shocks me to think that normal people probably walk around like this all day, every day and take it completely for granted.

Life is sweet, baby. Just sweet.

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