There was a time when my image of parenting included a sleeping child and a rocking chair. Seriously.
There was a time when I could go a whole day without someone throwing up on me.
There was a time when I would consider having to get up to pee and then going back to sleep for five or six hours a "bad" night's sleep.
There was a time when I could go out for dinner without wondering whether my spawn was at that moment peeing on someone else's furniture, or sucking on an animal's foot, or testing the volume capacity of their scream.
There was a time when I could shower every day.
There was a time when a seven o'clock dinner didn't seem like a crazy, radical idea.
There was a time when I could sit and read a book- and it wasn't Walter the Farting Dog.
There was a time when I could nap whenever I wanted.
There was a time when I could choose vacation destinations without considering their splash pad offerings.
There was a time when I could have a bath without a shark and a tug boat floating by.
There was a time when I could play music more loudly, talk more loudly, make...tacos...more loudly.
There was a time when I didn't automatically presume I had been peed on when I felt warmth anywhere on my body.
There was a time when I could read an email and send a reply all in one sitting.
There was a time when I had a lot of time to myself, to do whatever I wanted - and it was lovely.
But this is even better.
Now I get to experience play all over again. Today we went on two lion hunts.
Now I see joy in new things - pine cones, trains, the moon.
Now I think harder about how the decisions I make impact the future, because the future is you.
Now I understand what it is to truly give of yourself, because when I give, you thrive.
It's not always easy, in fact it's often terribly hard, but it is good. For that, I have you to thank.