Tuesday, January 01, 2008

It's Going to Be a Good Year.

The new year has finally arrived and I anticipate that it will be a good year. This will be the year that little Maddie will learn to crawl and say a few words (hopefully Mama). Za is embarking on new projects, including designing a nifty children's book about a beagle who can drive a motorcycle. And, I am gearing up to return to teaching with a new perspective on the students in front of me.

Becoming a mother has singularly transformed my life in ways that I could never have anticipated. Any inkling that I knew what was coming was just hog wash. My fears of the changes were well founded, but frankly I wasn't afraid enough. But, what I had no capacity to imagine was how much I would enjoy every second of watching this little baby girl grow, develop and change. I am in the bloom of my love affair with her, which is why posting on this blog has seemed less appealing than it once was.

I wrote to my colleague the other day (with a great deal of embarrassment) that having Maddie has literally given meaning to my life. Can you think of anything more trite than that to say? But it is true. I wake up every day knowing that she is in the world, that I get to play with her, and that she will smile at me and perhaps giggle and melt my heart. When I think about my future goals, what I want to write about, how I will teach my courses, where I want to travel, all of these decisions focus around her.

The important thing here is that putting her at the center (wish I could express this better) of these decisions is not putting myself on the back burner or fringes, as I once feared. Choosing for her is choosing for me. The unfortunate dichotomies that too many mothers and fathers absorb--her or me--are totally inept at capturing what the relationship is like. Sure, I am still new at this and I might change my opinions fifty times over. But, at this moment, what I realize is that doing what I love to do and parenting Maddie are not as incompatible as I feared. She has steered my interests in new directions and she has also redoubled my commitment to excellence at what I do. She also inspires me to continue to grow up (no other way to put this, I tried).

I imagine that when I return to work this week that my postings will return as well. But, my new years resolution is to make choices about what to do in a way that promotes my relationships to my family and friends. This might mean that I learn to crawl and speak new words along with Maddie this year.

What are your resolutions?

P.S. So this doesn't sound like the sappiest post in the world, I should mention that my day started with Maddie spitting up on me, yo which Za cleverly quipped "Happy New Years!"