Partying in Vegas
Alabama Whirly from True Romance on Halloween
Julie’s favorite place in the world
Three sheets to the wind
met·a·mor·pho·sis [met-uh-mawr-fuh-sis] noun
1. Biology . a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly.
2. a complete change of form, structure, or substance, as transformation by magic or witchcraft.
3. any complete change in appearance, character, circumstances, etc.
My Wife Has Changed, A LOT, Since the Birth of Our Baby
It has been a remarkable thing to watch my wife be transformed before my eyes.
Many of you may know my wife, the wonderful Julie Chatham (aka Julie Harris to most but she honored me by taking my last name just before our Ramona arrived). If you’ve known my wife for any length of time, you know how vocal she used to be about her ambivalence regarding having children. She used to say things like: I want to be able to travel… It’s a lot of work and responsibility… I don’t know if I’m cut out for that sort of thing… What if our kid turns out to be an asshole?
In fact, many of our friends were surprised and a bit bemused when they learned that we were expecting. We heard it said more than a few times, “But I thought you guys didn’t want to have children.” And who could blame them for their confusion? Any witness to our hard partying ways over the years and our confessed ambivalence towards procreation would likely have precluded us from the “oh, what wonderful parents they would make” conversations.
In our defense, I will say that we were always very sober about the challenges of parenting. We knew that if we were to have children, we would not want to half-ass things. We wouldn’t want to give our children anything less than our best. And that’s exactly why it took us eleven years to finally throw the dice: we had a lot of growing to do during those years both as individuals and as a couple.
In 2011, we took the plunge, became pregnant (Julie, that is), and today are blessed to be parents of a remarkable little baby girl named Ramona.
Oh, and my wife has become someone else.
Truth be told, Julie has completely and totally fallen head over heels in love with our little baby. She is utterly smitten and full of a caring, tenderness and joy that she confesses she has never known and didn’t know existed. And she has found herself to be something she was unsure she could be: a deeply nurturing mother.
You see, Julie’s favorite time of the day is putting Ramona to sleep. She loves rocking her in the dark room, holding her, feeding her the bottle and singing to her softly as she works her mother’s magic to charm our little lady to slumber. And she tells me she wants at least three or four children now. She doesn’t want these moments to end. She loves this all so much that she (yes, I’m talking about Julie here!) wants to be pregnant multiple times and raise a brood. I still smile and marvel at this new Julie nearly every day. It’s amazing how a person can change.
Of course, I knew that having a child would change our lives and it has, for the better in almost every conceivable way. And I knew that I would change and that Julie would change, and we have. But it’s still a remarkable thing to witness my wife’s deeply maternal spirit spring out of seemingly nowhere. It’s as if she was always made for this, always capable of being a mother, always possessing a deep reservoir of tenderness, patience, energy, devotion and wisdom, always ready to love with abandon. And, in fact, she was.
I believe that women are, in many aspects, superior to men. And I would venture that one of the biggest reasons for their supremacy over men is the almost universal ability of a woman to love a child profoundly and completely. Most women will do everything in their power to change whatever needs changing and do whatever needs doing in order to give their child the love and comfort and nurturing they need. They lay down their lives for their children, often gladly.
Men are vital too, of course. We also play a hugely important role in successful parenting. We love our children deeply too and most of us desire to be good fathers. Nevertheless, mothers are, literally and figuratively, the givers of life. Their role is undeniably paramount. And this holds up in my own experience observing my wife be a mother. Her mothering has leapt forth from her biochemical, primal, instinctual and spiritual self in an almost unconscious fashion. She is a mother now. She mothers. She provides and nurtures and sways and sings and coos and holds and kisses and soothes. She loves. She is transformed.
My wife was already an amazing woman before our precious Moonshine joined us in this world. Today, she is transcendent. Watching her be changed by love has been breathtaking and inspiring. It’s not difficult to understand why she wants more children. I am deeply thankful to be a witness to this beautiful metamorphosis even as I, myself, am being transformed too.
Till next time,