Happy day to all you mothers out there! Isn't it a great club we belong to? No one can understand the Bizarro World of motherhood except another mother.
When you are preparing to have your first child, you believe you are ready. You want this child; you're the right age; you have a stable home, you've read all the parenting books. You're ready.
Except that you're not. Certainly, if a grenade has ever gone off in your hoo-hoo, you can be somewhat prepared for labour and delivery, but nothing can possibly prepare you for when they first place that baby -- your baby -- in your arms and a nuclear device detonates in your soul. BOOM. They call it bonding, as in you're in more or less involuntary bondage to this critter for the rest of your days.
At one moment, after your infant has shrieked non-stop for about eleventy-zillion hours, you are frantically looking up Gypsies* in the Yellow Pages hoping to find a band of the baby-purchasing variety in your neighbourhood. The next minute you have snatched up that soggy, stinky, snot-nosed bundle in your arms, weeping because he's so perfect and you're so lucky he's yours.
Previously, the phrase "I'd walk through fire for you, baby" is the sort of cheesy thing an inebriated boyfriend might say to you. The instant you become a mother, it's an absolute fact of life. Fire, anvils falling from the sky, unexpected trips to Myanmar. Whatever it takes, you will do it without question if that's what your child requires.
It's a weird, weird gig. And of course we would trade it for no other. Congratulations and condolences to all who share it with me.
* If this offends you as a slur on the fine Romany people, then just pretend I wrote White Slavers instead, okay? Does your mother know you complain this much?