Today found me on campus trying to straighten out some administrative nonsense so I could get my very-much-anticipated financial aid disbursement. I think I was the only person there who was pushing a stroller. It was a little weird being back on campus with my child, who wasn't much of a thought in my mind when I started there in 2002.
Today, (almost) eight years and (almost) two degrees later, I felt really out of place. Motherhood has pushed me into an entirely new world, and the old places just don't feel the same. I passed the place where I used to always sit when I had a free moment, my nose buried in a thick book of poetry. I would always carry Post-it notes with me to mark the lines and stanzas that moved me.
I haven't read poetry in ages, although I crave it sometimes. I don't really have the space or desire to carry Post-its with me anymore. I would love to lose myself in a book at any given moment, but there is a baby boy who commands so much of my attention. More and more lately I hang out in the car to read when he falls asleep in his car seat. I love those delicious stolen moments; they remind me so much of a simpler time when I didn't have to worry about finding a good, sanitary place to change a diaper.
Yes, my life has changed quite a bit, but it's not like I resent Charlie for those changes. I knew what was going to happen when I signed up for this. I miss going to school, though. I miss tearing through books at an alarming rate. I miss having time. And energy.
I love my kid, truly, but I'm sometimes unbearably lonely. As much as I love hanging out with Charlie and singing the Ducklesman song over and over, I miss interacting with adults. I sometimes call Roy five times or more a day just because I need to hear an adult voice. I realize that makes me sound very needy, but I don't care. In this case, I am needy. I need people.
I am also very lucky. Because I get the honor of raising a wonderful little boy. I may not completely understand my place in this new world, and college kids may look at me funny as I push a stroller through the student union building, but there is one thing that I'm sure of: no line or stanza of poetry has ever moved me as much as Charlie has. And they sure as hell don't hand out degrees in unconditional love.