Once upon a time, long, long ago, I was a girl who slept til 9. I took naps and stayed up late and probably drank too much. I had lunch with friends and dinner after 6. I sat on my rear once in awhile and watched the Food Network. I painted my toenails and got haircuts on a regular basis. I packed a light suitcase with no more than necessary. I drove with both hands on the wheel and never worried about the timing of a drive. I emptied the dishwasher at whatever time I pleased, mindlessly banging plates and bowls as loud as I cared. Oh, once upon a time....
And now, here in the present, I do some of those things, though, not as often. I painted my toenails a few months ago, you can still make out a flake or two of polish. I sneak a Food Network episode in during nap time if I like the chef who is on. I wish I drank too much.
It's funny though how those without a little one would be horrified of the life I may lead. Fearful of months of no booze or (gasp) diet Pepsi. Shocked at the hour in which I wake each morning to play "get you" all day or to wear most of the yogurt eaten at breakfast. I'm sure being home for bedtime at 8 is unfathomable. To some.
But it's the quiet rewards that make it not just worth it but so heart fulfilling that no words could really describe it. The peaceful look as she swings or the sheer joy of sliding down the slide alone could bring me to my knees. Seeing her face light up with "Da Da" in sight or the grin spread across her face when she realizes we are at the park. Hearing the sweet sound of "Ma Ma" and the soft pat on the back that accompanies the hugs are worth each 7 am showing. Hearing her new words and watching her grow to not only recognize but love her whole family is just something that takes my breath away.
Life changes so fast. One minute you have all the time in the world, all the energy you could stand. That sounds like a fairy tale, but then a little princess comes along and everyone lives happily ever after.