Tanya Enberg: Unexpected Mother


Once Upon A Time, I Was Just Me


I once traveled solo carrying only a small backpack.

I once walked out of the house with nothing more than a wallet, lip-gloss, and a key.

I'd meander and enjoy leisurely strolls.

l felt free and weightless.

I'd have silence and revel in it.

I'd go months without taking Advil.

I'd eat meals slowly and worry about the dishes later.

I once felt calm. 

I'd pee in peace and take long, hot showers (no, not at the same time).

I'd blow dry my hair.

I'd sometimes have tousled beach tresses from actually playing beach volleyball.

I'd read fashion magazines to get ideas for wardrobe expansion.

I'd wear high heels. Almost daily.

I'd take my time planning an outfit and experimenting with makeup.

I'd go shopping for clothes and actually try them on first.

I'd enjoy massages just because, and get my nails done for the same reason.

I'd make appointments freely.

I'd do things just for me.

I never felt guilty.

I felt polished and sexy.

I once could have sex whenever I wanted.

I'd have regular dates alone with my husband.

I'd use the word ‘baby’ as a term of romantic endearment.

I'd run with my dog.

I rarely yelled or snapped.

I once had alone time so I never used to miss it.

I had patience for the strangest things and would laugh at the weirdest ones.

I could sleep in.

I felt well rested and had bright eyes.

I'd write to-do lists just for fun.

I read a book a week, chatted on the phone, played guitar, blasted music and flopped around indulgently.

I had time to think and breathe and create.

I had very distinctive days.

I had an incredible memory.

I'd carry out tasks using two hands.

I could concentrate.

I'd have afternoon beers on the patio. Or wine. Even better.

I'd workout whenever I wanted.

I'd talk about politics and books and the opening of exhibits.

I'd sketch and paint.

I'd go to dingy bars and stay out too late and drink far too much.

I'd come and go at will, light, light as a feather.

I used to have splatter-free clothing.

I could wear white, but truthfully I always spilled.

I thought I was busy and tired.

I thought I appreciated the small things in life.

I thought I knew who I was. Just me on my own — that girl, I thought I knew.

I'd sometimes wonder what kind of mom I’d make.

And now I know.

And now I wonder how I could’ve lived without this incredible, dizzying, insane kind of love.

My baby boy. My sweet, kissable baby boy.

Once I didn't know you.

You didn’t exist. 

And here we are today tied at the hip, all of us dancing this new dance together, happily discovering who we are and who we will become. 

Things never used to be this way. And then, one day, they were.

Once upon a time, I was just me.