In life, you have a handful of truly special moments. Your wedding, the birth of your child(ren), your high school and/or college graduation, possibly some sort of religious rite of passage (for a Jew like me, that would be my Bat Mitzvah), and maybe the first day of a new job.
But if I think back on all those moments, yes they were special, but they weren't pure unadulterated joy. Each one was slightly threatened by at least one thing that was less than pleasant.
To demonstrate, below is an emotional analysis of my life's "special" moments.
Good: Relief that I will never have to practice my haftorah again, excitement in having a huge party thrown in my honor
Bad: Fear of party being deemed "not that cool", fear that my first pair of heels make me slip while I'm carrying the Torah resulting in extreme humiliation and forty days of fasting
HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION
Good: Feeling of accomplishment, fulfillment of my desire to get the hell out of my hometown
Bad: Sadness of leaving my friends, awkwardness as my mother and stepmother meet for the first time while wearing the same chartreuse pants suit
FIRST DAY OF FIRST POST COLLEGE JOB
Good: Excitement of beginning my career
Bad: Disappointment as the reality of my actual job sets in (#1 task— making sure a water pitcher was filled before the chairman of the company entered the office, #2 task— procuring sandwiches that I was not allowed to eat)
Good: Happiness in marrying the man I love, comfort of being surrounded by my family and friends, relief that months of planning will finally come to an end
Bad: Stress of party going as planned, panic when I realize I have to pee the second before I walk down the aisle, fear of my mother destroying my lady parts as she lifts my dress while brandishing a pair of scissors to cut my underwear off so we don't have to rebutton and resash
BIRTH OF CHILD
Good: Joy of welcoming my daughter into the world
Bad: Pain of childbirth, anger at my husband for leaving me in the lobby of our building at 2am to go to the deli to get a cup of coffee before we leave for the hospital and then waiting for what seemed like three hours because apparently the deli was out of coffee and he had to wait for them to brew a fresh pot(!!!), discomfort of a large audience gathered around my vagina, fear of complications, fear that my first thought when the baby is born will be that she is kind of gross, fear of motherhood in general
CHILD'S FIRST STEPS (also applies to most milestones)
Good: State of amazement at your growing child
Bad: Fear that what every mother tells you is true— you blink your eyes and they are all grown up
You see? There are no perfect moments. Nothing that happens without a certain amount of baggage attached. Except one.
FIRST TIME YOUR HUSBAND AND CHILD MEET YOU AT THE AIRPORT TO WELCOME YOU HOME
Good: Seeing Mike holding an incredibly stunned Mazzy who looked at me with the widest most incredulous eyes you have ever seen and then shouted a delayed "……… MAMA!!!!"
It's nice to be home.
Editor's Note: These pictures were taken by my awesome photographer friend, Craig. They were not taken in the airport. I actually lived in the moment and didn't whip out my camera. For once.