No, not giving birth, because Jen did all the work there, but the metaphor & posession part of “having”.
[Warning: May contain mush and cheese. Viewers may not want to have full stomachs.]
So right, “duh” right? It changes everyone. This I know, but some of the changes are more interesting, from an internal perspective, than others.
When each of my sons were born, there was a noticeable “cracking” of something internal. I’d like to think it’s my “reservoir of love” (cheesy as fuck I know, but roll with me here crowning crowd) growing – I never thought I’d have enough to love my family as much as I do. OK that sounds weird, but I’ll elaborate a little if you can hold your stomachs:
I love my wife more every day. Seriously. No BS. Each day we continue to survive ( 😉 ) together the bonds binding me to her grow thicker and tighter. Every so often I’m like “Seriously? I can love anyone this much? How is there room in my heart?” – and that has continued for years.
Then Z came and I was like “Wow, there’s room to love him immensely as well.” Truthfully I was kind of surprised, because I’m not sure how that all fits in here. And now with M…even more. I look at them and sometimes it’s like I’m exploding; it’s hard to focus on it without being overwhelmed.
Something like an actualization of the old alchemical/Biblical metaphor of the “refiner’s fire”.
As a side effect of that I suspect, I’m much more prone to emotional response in general. This one is a bit more visible as I know Jen has commented on it as well. I’m much more susceptible to stupid cheese moments with children in movies/tv. NO that doesn’t mean I’ll watch them on purpose, but if I happen to accidentally catch the death/harm/kidnapping/etc. of a child on something I’m more likely to be visibly affected. This is kind of annoying at times, as most of the tripe really isn’t worth the emotional output. But you know what – I’m ok with it. No need to be trapped in outdated 50s masculinity metaphors – I can cry and still kick your fucking ass if need be. Maybe even while I’m crying. But I’ll also be laughing at you.
Well, I have more patience that I would have thought humanly possible 10 years ago. Things that I know would have drove me crazy years ago now just roll off (lack of sleep, son smashing your groin over and over and over and over, kids’ toy & general messes, lack of free time, various marital scuffles, etc.). Not to say I don’t get annoyed or bitchy – because the stress level has ratcheted up pretty damn high as well, but I can notice the difference internally at least.
My pain tolerance seems to have gone up as well, but I suspect that’s a side effect of the patience – or maybe just repeated injury.
I can sleep in stranger places. Chairs, weird angles on couches. Floors (true – sometimes I have to lay down on the floor next to Z’s crib to get him to go to sleep & I have to be careful not to get stuck in there for more than a few minutes or I’m likely to be gone as well). When I catch myself falling asleep mid-word while reading to Z I have to crack up a little.
Mostly it’s the love that amazes me though. What will 3 or 4 children be like? Equally incomprehensible I suspect. Maybe we’ll find out.