B.C. and A.D.
This is an essay I entered in a contest that our newspaper had for Mother’s Day. I didn’t win, but they did quote part of it — the mushiest part, of course. I guess I needed more sap!
My life can be divided into two eras: B.C. and A.D. – that’s Before Children and After Delivery.
Before Children, I doubt I ever even used the words “poopy diaper,” “placenta” and “pureed peas”. After Delivery, I was able use them all in one sentence – and it would make sense. Before Children, I took for granted the ability to go to the bathroom without an audience. After Delivery, I became a master of heading to the restroom silently, delicately tip-toeing like a ballerina in new shoes on a freshly waxed stage.
In the B.C. Era, I was entertained by Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe. Living in A.D., it’s Mover Rich, Mover Dave, Mover Scott, Mover Smitty, Nina and Knit Knots. Instead of hearing about Ugly Naked Guy, I’m hearing about Warehouse Mouse – which is an improvement, really. The B.C. Me didn’t understand how parents could let the television “babysit” their kids. The A.D. Me needed 25 minutes to get ready in the morning and decided “preschool on TV” was ingenious, and one episode of Dora the Explorer wasn’t going to hurt anyone.
Before Children, I didn’t eat vegetables. (And, contrary to what I was told might happen, lived to tell!) After Delivery… Well, I still don’t eat vegetables that often, but I do try them more. I take a deep breath, smile bravely and show my children just how delicious broccoli really is – or whatever green, slimy, oddly textured side item is on my plate. (Which is how I found out I like asparagus. Go figure!)
In my life Before Children, the only image of myself I could count on was the one looking back at me in the mirror. After Delivery, I became aware of my own reflection as it was presented to me in miniature form. My words repeated, my actions mimicked. No other life experience made me want to change for the better than knowing I could be shaping two little personalities with my own.
Before Children, I thought I knew joy and pain. After Delivery, I realized that those emotions are far more intense when seeing them through my children’s eyes, and feeling them through my children’s hearts. There is no greater joy than theirs, nor is there any greater pain that that which breaks their spirits.
Before I became a mom, I thought I loved, respected and appreciated my own mother. After I became a mom, I realized that I still did – only on a whole new level. I am in awe of her – for putting up with my sister and I and what we dished out, for holding herself together when we made choices that could have had disastrous consequences, and for showing us a strong and constant love through it all. If I can be a fraction of the mom to my girls that she was to me, I’ll be happy.
Interestingly enough, at this point in my life I’ve spent far more time in the B.C. era than A.D. And although B.C. brought me from infancy to adulthood, I believe A.D. has brought about more change, more growth, and more fulfillment than anything offered in the 27 years prior. The changes I have experienced have been for the better, all because of the two precious agents of change that brought them about.