I have always loved a good adventure, living right on the line between responsible and dangerous. In high school, I rode my bike through the Pyrenees Mountains from Paris to Barcelona, sleeping in a tent that I carried on the back of my bike -- no support vehicle needed (well, maybe our small group of high school students, led by two recent college grads, should have had a support vehicle...but we didn't). In college, I traveled around Southeast Asia for a summer; I unexpectedly cut my trip short after my bus fell off of a bridge a couple of hours from the Cambodia/Thailand border, and I had to spend all of my money hitchhiking my way back to Thailand. After college, my adventures changed for a bit, as I lost some common sense and turned toward substances; I dabbled with partying just enough to know that, if I kept it up, it wouldn't be pretty (and, the fact that my "friends" who kept it up look about twice their age confirms that I made the right choice to return to more natural highs -- like yoga, hiking, and running).
Through law and graduate school and my young professional career, my love for adventure didn't stop. I hitchhiked and backpacked my way through Jordan, spent a couple of months in Venezuela when most people were already trying to find their way out of the country. A few years later, my now husband and I brought our wedding party on a strenuous hike the morning before the big day (which, by the way, was on a hiking trail in the desert on a hot day in August).
We got caught at the top of a slippery, steep mountain in a thunder storm with his middle-school-aged nephew, my sixty-three-year-old mom, my brother, my pregnant maid of honor, and the parents of three young kids. (The rest of the party was smart enough to turn around when they saw the dark clouds setting in.)
I think of all of that (and more), and I have to wonder when my life got to the point where these words came out of my mouth and made perfect sense in terms of the next big adventure to add to my story:
"Honey, we have just enough diapers left to be dangerous!"
With four clean diapers left to our names and a full day of travel ahead of us, I set out to change Elias Jayne's poopy diaper. I didn't want to risk getting feces all over the white hotel bed linens, so I brought him out onto the balcony to change him (on the balcony floor, so there was no risk of his plummeting to his death... and a much easier floor to clean). I got the poop-filled diaper off without a mess and put it down to grab some wipes. In that moment, Elias managed to grab the poop filled diaper and one of the precious few clean ones I had left, tossing them playfully into the air. I watched as they hit the top of the balcony rail -- the moment of truth. For a moment, it looked as if they might bounce back down onto the balcony floor.
But, they didn't. I watched as both diapers rolled right on over to the other side, beginning their five story decent; poop was flying, and Elias was giggling and grinning devilishly. Did he know what he just did!? I stood up and looked down just in time to see one of the hotel employees staring, shocked, up at me. I ducked down, grabbed Elias, and crawled back inside.
"Honey, I think it is time to go. We don't need to check out officially or anything, do we?"
Motherhood has completely shifted my perspective and priorities. Honestly, in many ways, motherhood has probably saved me from myself. At first I thought that motherhood was the end to my years of living (almost) dangerously. But, now, I have no doubt that this is just the beginning. Thank you, Elias Jayne, for allowing me be your mami (as if you had a choice)!