I was talking to my friend who lives in Brooklyn the other day, trying to catch up in five minutes or less on the latest events in our lives. I told her I was constantly covered in spit-up and that my back was really hurting due to sciatica from carrying Hugh.
Both true, but completely lame. Couldn’t I have told her about the clever insight I had on a political topic or the creative observation I’d made about the man on the street wearing a yellow bow tie. Except there was no clever insight, no man on the street. It’s not that I no longer have an interior life that is interesting; just that it’s harder to surface sometimes due to being covered in spit-up and sciatica.
She proceeded to tell me that Bruce Springsteen’s assistant just called her girlfriend, a band manager, to say that he would be at the band’s show that night. But my friend couldn’t make the show; she had a party to go to at a fashionable bar that made bourbon Bloody Marys.
It was the first time I really felt a flash of panic over what I might be missing given my choice to become a mother.
There was a time not long ago I wore a platinum wig and performed in an edgy Burlesque troupe. A draft of a manuscript I’d written but never finished sat on my shelf. Leather pants gathered dust in the attic. And worst of all, I’d just purchased shoes with CORK BOTTOMS.
I’d like to say I just looked at Hugh’s adorable face with his button eyes and puffy pink lips and thought, “to hell with what I’m missing.” But instead, I realized that I’d always hold multiple yearnings. That my challenge is to reconcile the part of me that want to sip bourbon Bloody Marys until sunrise and the part of me that chooses to be up at sunrise, cleaning up spit-up and downing ibuprofen to ease the sciatica.