Normally The Daver says stuff like, “Why is the cat in the microwave?” and “You can’t make dinner by staring at the cans of food, you know that, right?” so when, in a rousing discussion about turning Band Back Together into a non-profit, he said, “I can’t believe that all of the stuff that’s happened in the past couple years has been a coincidence. You’ve really channeled all of that into something good.” I was stunned.

It was singularly the kindest thing he’s said to me. It was the kindest thing that anyone has ever said to me.

I’ve done a lot of thinking, which, for someone like me who normally thinks things like, “I wonder if I can print out a life size cutout of Billy Mays for my wall on my home printer.” (it is the size of a shoebox, I should add) I’ve been thinking about the past. It’s not surprising, considering that Amelia’s birthday is coming up in a few days, that I would be more contemplative than normal.

That stupid baby shampoo commercial says that “having a baby changes everything,” and I always answer the television (because it can totally hear me) “yeah, no shit, Sherlock,” because it does. Of course it does. Of course, the baby shampoo commercial is also trying to make you feel like having a baby makes the world a more brightly-colored, soft-focused place where mothers stand at the sink, lovingly smiling at their cooing – but never colicky! – baby, bathing in that lovely lavender shampoo.

Go ahead, I’ll wait while you snicker.

Okay, maybe that’s just me snickering snidely.

The person I was before I popped Amelia out was not the person I am today. I am not the person I was before I delivered Ben or Alex either, of course, but the person I was before I delivered Amelia was the one most radically altered. Even more so, I think now, than the single twenty-year old who popped that bobble-headed black-haired baby out.

Part of who we are is who we think we are. Part of who we are is reflected in the way other people see us. Part of us is who we actually are. And part of who we are is who we want to be.

It has taken me thirty years on this planet to finally be able to say that I am. I am. I finally am. I am – more or less – exactly as I should be.

I had to lose it all to finally become who I am. I had to lose my marbles to find myself.

I am now found in no small part thanks to you, Pranksters. For that, I owe you a debt of gratitude I’ll never be able to repay.

I guess that baby shampoo was right. Having a baby changes everything. But it’s probably not the way they meant it.

Mommy Needs Vodka Blog

(the blobber, Aunt Becky, as she was, February 3, 2009)

Aunt Becky Now

(the blobber, Aunt Becky, as herself, today, January 19, 2011)

66 thoughts on “What Was Lost Is Found

  1. My boyfriend has become my son’s father, over the past year. They’re not biologically related. It’s been incredibly COOL watching Viking (boyfriend) go through the process I went through 5 years ago when Kid was born, of becoming a parent, of seeing how much your parents were making it up as they went along, of falling frighteningly in love with a tiny, demanding little person.

    Being a parent changes you, no doubt.

  2. You’ve done so many wonderful things because of the pain you were forced to deal with… and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your work.

    You are beautiful, inside and out.

  3. “I had to lose it all to finally become who I am. I had to lose my marbles to find myself.”

    Girl, you said a mouthful. Seems as though I learn all my life lessons through losing my shit. Glad to hear I’m not alone.

    Keep on truckin’ on Wise Woman.

  4. First off, I thought this was about your pants…okay I’m over it now. I’ve tucked the horns and confetti away (AGAIN)

    Different amazing all the same, you hot mama blobber! I for one (of many) am very glad you are exactly who you are.

  5. So much to think about in this piece, thank you for sharing it!

    I particularly like this:

    Part of who we are is who we think we are. Part of who we are is how other people see us. Part of us is who we actually are. And part of who we are is who we want to be.

    And I wonder, does one part outweigh another part in our own selves? And I wonder also, shouldn’t we strive to value parts 1 and 4 more, so that the voices in our heads are kind to us?

    Thanks, Aunt Becky!

    1. I totally agree (but fear the hose? WTF? Should I be afraid?)

      The Daver loves you more than you know. You two have been through hell and back, and made it with your head held high, despite your strongest objections to the contrary.

      Fuck yeah.

  6. Wow, you look much better now! People always think they look more attractive when they’re younger, but it depends on what you do with what you’ve got. (And, of course, one realizes that the just-got-out-of-bed look doesn’t wear so well when you’re over 30, or 40, etc….)

    I had some pretty embarrassing hair & clothing styles in the past, and being a guy, I can’t blame it on having just popped a live, screaming human from my abdomen.

  7. i love you.
    that is all.

    i lied.
    there’s more.

    thank you for being here for us,
    and loving us and letting us love you back.

    ok. now that is all.

  8. Very well written. And so very true.
    I can’t wait to be I Am. Because right now I have just lost my marbles. And I am still in the dark, and I don’t see any hope of light in the near future. But reading your blog gives me some hope.

  9. As always, so beautifully said my friend.

    A baby does change everything, it makes you a mother. Each time you become a mother, in any way you have them, you change. Those changes can be down right gut busting, but then when you break through…you come out on the other side a bigger and better Mamma!

    So glad you found it! You look so happy.

  10. OK, after I posted my previous comment I clicked on over to Band Back Together. Thank you thank you thank you for this website! What a relief to read real life stories written by real women (not those dumbass women in the Johnson’s baby shampoo ads) about hard/dark/real shit.

    I’m out of time to peruse the rest of the site, gotta get the curtain climber off the bus, but you can bet your sweet ass I will be on that site tonight with a hot cup of coffee reading and reading and reading.

    Thank you for keepin’ it real girl!

  11. The Daver is indeed correct. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we smile benevolently and nod sagely, acknowledging the brilliance of the universe and other times we shake, scream uncontrollably and curse all the fates combined. But we learn and grow from each experience.

    At a mere 32, I was in a Denver hospital trying to decide if I should disconnect my mother from life-support following a stroke. My father was a basket case, unable to do more than drink, smoke and cry. All I could think was “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. And it does. It just sucks big monkey balls along the way.

    Thank you for the parts of your soul that you share and damn you for making me cry on this the 15th anniversary of her passing. I really do try to keep it all nicely bottled up, but you touch a part of me with every post, Becky. I am filled with gratitude that we’ve found each other on this big huge planet.

  12. Dear Aunt Becky: You are soooo right. It took me losing my marbles, thinking I had found them (turned out they were just shiny rocks), and eventually finding the real ones to get to where and who I am today. And I like this me. I accept that not everyone will like this me, but I don’t care…because only my opinion (and maybe the opinions of the voices in my head) counts. And you know what else? Those people who don’t like me don’t have an Aunt Becky who is FULL OF THE AWESOME. Ha. Take that bitches.

  13. ok-I’ll admit it. When I first found your blog I was like “cool, this chick is fun and sassy and says bad words. This will be a fun distraction from life and stress and all.” But then I dove in a little further and read about Amelia and discovered your other venture over at Band Back together and realized what you have done (and do) has profoundly impacted my heart, particularly as a mother who also didn’t know if her children where going to survive. Motherhood has definitely changed me. Freakin A.

    After all the drama after my sons were born and the depression set in I just wished everything could be back to the way it was. Back to Normal. I wanted to feel like ME. Just now do I feel as though I am settling into my own skin. Thank you for putting all this into beautiful raw words here. It’s so cool when someone else gets it. 🙂

  14. This post is so awesome! I totally relate. Thank you for putting this out here. I am feeling rather alone right now due to some major changes in some important relationships. This makes me feel less like a freak. Thank you so very much.

  15. In some ways, I am lucky. I lost my marbles really early and had the insight to know that only I, no drugs, no man, nobody but me, had to find me. (That insight was not so easy to handle when I was a little kid, so it really rocked that it paid off later.)

    I’m so glad that you’ve emerged from you and you get it. It is a pleasure to read your work, to share in your struggles, to laugh at your princess ridiculousness and to revel in your success. I love you. In a stalkerish internet way.

  16. Okay you want to know something funny? Jeff totally mentioned something similar to me when I was rambling on about you the other day! He was saying how there’s no way it’s a coincidence that I found your blog and Band Back Together when I really needed to. He also told me I’m not actually married to Ryan Reynolds … so I’m choosing to take his words as lies but … you see my point.

    You know how I can tell you’ve had some change in the last couple years? Your eyes. Granted you’ve just delivered a fucking human being in the first one but in the second one? The light is back in those eyeds Aunt Becky and we’re all so glad!

    Keep rocking it out, Becky. I can’t wait to finally be un-lazy and link up to the January Venue over on BB2G! Looking forward to the next venue! Love ya!

  17. I can say, with full confidence, that your Pranksters love you for who you were, and who you are now. You would not be you, without the trials and the pain you’ve gone through.

    You kick ass, Aunt Becky, and you do good while you’re at it. Which makes you beyond Awesome.

  18. Part of who we are is who we think we are. Part of who we are is how other people see us. Part of us is who we actually are. And part of who we are is who we want to be.

    What the fuck?? Have you been nibbling on the Vicodin cookies again??

  19. Popping out a bobble head is probably totally different then popping off a bobble head… I have one of Stewie and Quagmire and I was about to run home to see if popping off their heads would change my world and look at what I have done!!! Taken pefectly beautiful post and defiled it with my dross.

  20. Whew girl! That was deep…and profound! I wasn’t ready for that…but since you brought it up…yeah, babies change things. I’ve “found” myself and realize that who I am in my own little part of this world….well, I’m not bad.

  21. Dude- you are totally way hotter now. Seriously, look you like an old lady in the two years ago picture (hehe- it looks like you have no teeth). The new one looks like a girl I’d take out on a “look how hot me and my girls are, don’t you wish you were us?” nights. There WOULD be champagne.

  22. Dude- you are totally way hotter now. Seriously, look you like an old lady in the two years ago picture (hehe- it looks like you have no teeth). The new one looks like a girl I’d take out on a “look how hot me and my girls are, don’t you wish you were us?” nights. There WOULD be champagne.

  23. Hi Aunt Becky, Long-time reader/lurker, first time commenter (I think?). I finally decided I needed to step in here and tell you as many times as you’ve made me laugh, that’s as many times as you’ve made me cry. In a good way, most of the time. The way you write about your daughter, the confusing and traumatizing days following her birth — well, like I said, it makes me cry. In a good way. That’s some serious love right there. Way to go, strong, changed Aunt Becky, and thanks.

  24. I can see the panic in your eyes in the first picture. What a couple of years! Love you and your miracle girl. Smooch that delicious little terror for me. MWAH!

  25. The Daver is right. And… you’re awesome.

    Also, Band Back Together, even though I’m not quite ready to submit my own story, has made my life better. So, thank you. Really.

  26. If you decide to pursue making it a non-profit, let me know what I can do to help. Cheap labor always helps with those things. In the words of the old commercial, “You’ve come a long way baby!”

  27. So true! All the stress and insanity that is pregnancy just leads to continued stress and insanity once you deliver. The balance is the joy of raising your screaming poop-monster and watching all of the crap (that was previously important) fall away. It’s nice to know that this experience is fairly universal.

  28. That’s why we keep ’em – they occasionally pull their heads out of wherever they usually keep them and take note…and then say absolutely the right thing. Go, the Daver!

    It’s been a quick 2 years – so glad you’ve found yourself!

  29. You’re a shiny star! :o)
    ya can’t find what you don’t lose. I lose my schmidt all the time. Sometimes I don’t find it all, but that’s ok, I figure I find what I need.

  30. Congratulations and attagirl. Seriously, your accomplishments are to be admired.

    Now, to bitch….the internets is crazy…you girls put up pictures of youselves and you get dozens of compliments. I put up pictures of me and my family on my blog and people tlel me my wife and kids are beautiful and then turn on into Don Rickles insult comic taking shots at me…sexist innerwebz


  31. Having kids not only changes you, it changes how you see and interact with those around you and how they see you. Sometimes for the good. Sometimes for the bad. But it always changes something. Recognizing that and understanding it is a huge awakening and I’m so glad yours came out ok. Hugs.

  32. Lovelovelove your line “I am-more or less- exactly as I should be.” I needed that today, so thank you for sharing.

    And, as much as I love that line, I promise not to steal it. Because syphilis would suck. BIG time.

  33. I didn’t just snigger, I hurt myself laughing. I’ve spent 3 nights this week with a 4 month old who’d rather shriek himself sick at 2 am than stay asleep………
    than at bleary eyed 6 am the little monster grins and giggles when i walk in just to spite me and blow out my brains.

  34. *wants to hold and hug the new mum of 2009, to take away that panicked pain*

    *decides to high-five that awesome kick-ass babe of 2011*

    You rock honey! I’m here, far away in Sweden, and cheering your every step towards light and inner power. You really have come far! Whohooooo!

  35. Oh my freaking gosh. You are EXACTLY my brand or sarcastic! I love how you don’t feel the need to explain that you still love your daughter….cos’ it just goes without saying. I have two children two who I love dearly but would gladly strangle at times for their sheer effrontery in daring to interrupt ‘Mummy Time’ (I only ask for short bursts of it, like to pursue the thrilling exploits of Wally the Freaking Washing Machine and the Peg Pirates) Thanks for being so upfront and downright awesome!

    The Neurotic Hummingbird

  36. Beautiful (with just the right hint of snark) piece. I didn’t know who I was until I had my kids. And I had my 1st at 19 (well… almost 20). I’m now pushing 35 and I now have 3 and each one has taught me more about who I am. Kids have a way of linking us into ourselves and to the world around us in a way we had no concept of before we were bathing them in that lavender shampoo. Amazing how little animals who paint with their own feces can be the biggest teachers in our lives. For the record, I like who you are too. Thank the beh beh’s for me ;0)


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