There is a letter in Tiny Beautiful Things, in which the writer asks Dear Sugar if she should have a baby (as she has always wanted) even though she is single (as she did not imagine she would be as a parent). In Dear Sugar’s reply, there is this paragraph:
Regardless of what happens with the men, you’ll have a baby. An amazing little being who will blow your mind and expand your heart and make you think things you never thought and remember things you believed you forgot and heal things you imagined would never heal and forgive people you’ve begrudged for too long and understand things you didn’t understand before you fell madly in love with a tiny tyrant who doesn’t give a crap whether you need to pee. You will sing again if you stopped singing. You will dance again if you stopped dancing. You will crawl around on the floor and play chase and tickle and peek-a-boo. You’ll make towers of teetering blocks and snakes and rabbits with clay.
I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot lately (I read the book last year, but it was my book club’s selection last month, so it’s been refreshed in my mind.) This is so true for me. Without even realizing it, as I grew up and became more “responsible”, I had stopped singing and stopped dancing. I had stopped seeing the magic and the wonder and the joy in the every day. Raising a kid is hard work, but seeing the world through new, less jaded eyes, spending time with someone who doesn’t care if you are “good” at dancing, but rather just likes to see you move your body, someone who doesn’t care than you can’t keep a tune, but loves that you know all the words to “Wanted: A Nanny for Two Adorable Children“… that has been a gift.
The picture at the top is what I drew when Frances asked me to “Color frog, Mommy” this past weekend. Turns out that when I turn off the voice that says “You can’t draw, Carrie”, I can make a perfectly recognizable frog.