You've never lived...

I used to think that you'd never really "lived" until you'd backpacked Europe or played to a crowd of 300 or (I dunno, you fill in the blank). For me it was always backpacking Europe.

By that definition, I have never lived.

I've lived in Europe, but not the young, carefree life that could easily fit into a rucksack and be chased with the best local alcoholic beverages. Nope. I lived there when I was seven, so less alcohol, more gummies. Oddly enough, LegoLand is indispensable in both of those scenarios.

Anyhow. That is how I USED to measure having "lived." Pre-babies.

Oh, what having babies teaches us.

I submit that you have never LIVED until...(pick any or all that apply)

- You have pushed a baby out of you. Or had one pulled from you. Or had one delivered into your arms via a long-term care giver. You have never LIVED until you've been smacked in the face with an undeniable love that comes in an instant after a long fought battle (be it physical, emotional, or legal).

- You have spent 5 minutes to 7 hours in a moving vehicle with a screaming baby. The CIA has nothing on torture when compared to hearing a helpless thing that you love and would happily bribe cry at the top of its lungs for hours on end.

- You have pre-chewed your baby's food in a moment of weakness. They don't have teeth. You don't have baby food. Lemonade from lemons, folks.

- You have talked at length with friends about your kid's bowel movements. Leave all that snarky euro-philosophy to the river rats of Amsterdam...you're talking roughage.

- You have inexplicably licked something your child has just licked (and made a face at) to try and ascertain if it is lethal. I maintain my argument that childbirth causes all parties involved to lose common sense and a good number of brain cells.

- You have come to believe and espouse that "sleepiness is next to godliness only when followed by actual SLEEP."

- You have MacGyver'd How it that not a spell-checkable term? both a diaper and wet wipes using only items found in public restroom.

- You live in clothing that at any and all times can (and probably will) be used as a handkerchief by multiple members of your family.

- You have lost precious moments of sleep fixated on the thought that something terrible has befallen your child. The vicious cycle only continuing when you have to debate yourself as to the plausibility of a giant sinkhole forming ONLY underneath your children's bedroom...only feeling halfway reassured that all is well after sneaking into their room, unplugging all electrical devices, checking all wall anchors, and listening for breathing sounds.

- You have heard your baby say, "Momma" or "Dadda" and were quick to promise them all the ponies in all the land.

Okay...so, MAYBE I've never backpacked around Europe. Maybe I have never really LIVED. But this is pretty amazing too.

What about your kiddos makes you feel ALIVE?

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