Appleseed: New Life Crisis

It happened when I was driving to the grocery store.  It happened again when I was playing video games.  It happens almost every time I pay any kind of attention to our cats.  These are the moments when I wish my life hadn't changed, when I wish it was the way it was before our son was born.

I think that sounds awful, but I've begun to realize that it’s totally natural.  The further I dig into it, the more I read about first time parents desperately wishing they could go back, because the epic turn their life took is just too much to deal with.

I know Nicole feels the same way sometimes, too.  It's brutal.

It's impossible to explain how amazing it is to have our son in our lives.  The astounding feeling that comes with having a child is something you can’t explain to anyone who hasn't experienced it themselves. Every time I look at Appleseed I’m overcome by something I can’t even really understand, something primal, even spiritual.

If this feeling is so strong, then why do I sometimes wish my life was the way it had been before we became parents?  Why would I want a life without my son?

That’s simple: because this new life is bat shit crazy

There’s a scene from the much maligned ninth and final season of Scrubs in which Dr. Cox is trying to explain to Elliot that she and JD need to spend as much quality time together as they can before their baby is born.  His advice comes on the heels of one half of an elderly couple dying.

Elliot: “Having a baby isn't like dying.”

Dr. Cox: “Having a baby is exactly like dying.”

And Nicole and I laughed and laughed and laughed, as we re-watched that episode just after Appleseed was born.

Because it really is like dying.  You have to kiss a majority of your old life good-bye – an old life that I rather enjoyed.

That’s the crux of it, really.  While I wouldn't trade those moments when I look at Appleseed and my world is blown away, they are surrounded by a punishing amount of work and a distinct lack of sleep.  We are in full on survival mode, which makes it hard to see the joy.  It’s hard to see any kind of a light at the end of this tunnel, even though we know it exists.  It’s even worse for Nicole who has responsibilities that I don’t, although this just means that I’m worrying about her almost as much as I’m worrying about Appleseed.

It’s easier for me to see a way out of this cave because I’m not a) recovering from a major trauma and b) not a machine being abused by our offspring for sustenance.  I can wrap my brain around a future where Appleseed doesn't have to eat every few hours, a future where we can sleep for at least six whole hours a night, all in a row.

I wrote the majority of the above a week ago, and since then I'm beginning to have a hard time picturing my life without Appleseed.  In fact, I think the reverse has happened, where the difficulty isn't so much in imagining my new life as it is imagining any aspect of my old life fitting into this one.  Having a child is such a huge thing that I don't see any room for anything else.  I don't even know if I want any room for anything else.

That's probably something I'll get to next time.

Honestly, though, it all boils down to this: having the Appleseed is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

So, yeah, I think I can manage the rest.