The Kiddo is six months old tomorrow. Over the past few weeks I've had several people ask me what motherhood is like or how it has changed me and so forth....I was doing the final, bedtime-clutter-sweep-up the other night with some of those conversations echoing in my head, when I picked up the Kid's copy of The Velveteen Rabbit....
"'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'
'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.
'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'
'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'
'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.'"
The house is never really picked up. And when Sweet Husband folded and put away all the laundry this week, it was better than the roses he would send, of yore. We spend Saturday nights at home. I can't remember the last time I didn't have spit up or drool or some even less pleasant fluid on my clothes. And there are parts of my body that I can no longer pretend will ever be the same again.
"But these things don't matter at all." Or, at least, they matter a little less every day.
"But I love you
How I love you
All my days are rearranged to say I love you"
--The Wailin' Jennys