A couple days ago I bought “1L of a Ride”, which was surprisingly difficult to find at a reasonable price because it’s required/recommended reading for so many law schools and thus has a textbook price. Today I took the oldest son to Barnes and Noble and bought “the champion of LSAT prep” and when I got home I got told my parents (my siblings already know) about my plans. Mom said it sounds “interesting” and implied that she thinks it might be a good fit for me, and dad said I make him and my kids proud. I got “The Paper Chase” ebook from my local library and read some of it on my phone while I sat in the dark and bored the kids to sleep.
I’ve out of my way with everyone I’ve talked to about this new project, relatives, friends, and even the lawyer, that it’s conditional, that I’ll only go through with it if the LSAT works out really, REALLY well and leads to not having to borrow for law school. That way, when it doesn’t work out I don’t have to feel stupid and cowardly because I’ll have said it all along that it might not happen. I’m saving face three years in advance because I’m a chickenshit. It’s true, and I’m simultaneously ashamed and not at all ashamed.
As I was talking to my dad, I realized I can’t believe how fast time is flying. The youngest son will be one in less than three months and I am not at all prepared for it. I don’t want to let go of his infancy because I know I will desperately want a third baby for the rest of my life. I want to have again that deep, joyful feeling of being unconditionally, madly in love with a tiny thing that can in no way meaningfully reciprocate it, and it kills me that I’ll only ever get to feel that once. But the reality of it is that there is no guarantee that I will get it again or that it won’t be even worse than it was the first time.
It is time to let go, it just is. It’s time to accept that the part of my life wherein I get to be the young mother of little babies is quickly coming to an end and can never be done again. When it’s over it’s over forever and that kind of permanence is scary. It’s a death of the way things are, and it’s the birth of an uncertain new way. What if I don’t love the new, next chapter as much as I have loved this one? What if being a mother to two young children isn’t as joyful, cute, and easy as being the mother of a toddler and a little baby?
I have loved being the mother of a toddler and a baby. Loved it. It’s easy and cute and fun. And now it’s time to get go of that. I could say that the cutoff point is the youngest son’s first birthday, but you’re still a baby at 12 months, just less so than you were three months before that. The big milestone for moving from infancy to toddlerhood, in my mind, is walking with ease and relegating diapers to sleeping times. At that point you’re past baby and marching rapidly toward child. So I guess it’s not quite time to grieve yet, but I think preparing (without panicking) will help ease the transition.
So I’m studying for the LSAT and researching law school. It keeps me busy and gives me something to look forward to. I need distraction and goals, and I get that from this step that frames my future as one of possibility and hope rather than uncertainty and loss.