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.
(the blobber, Aunt Becky, as she was, February 3, 2009)
(the blobber, Aunt Becky, as herself, today, January 19, 2011)