Having a kid continues to be a delightful surprise (I'm still surprised we have one and I'm delighted, and surprised to be so delighted, and am constantly surprised by what comes next).

But as he gets older, I'm realizing that it's time to reclaim some of myself. I basically surrendered to life being all about the baby for the first year, and (mostly) embraced the opportunity I had to slow down and pay attention and enjoy it. I know it won't ever happen again and I want to hold on to the experience. And: when I went back to teaching three mornings a week, that fed another part of me and made me happier all around, even with the complications it created (it's truly impossible to read student papers with a toddler intent on mischief squealing and crashing around).

It's spring break, and I've overused my line about the only wet tshirts in my life these days being when the little man is naked and pees on me. It's not like I ever even did the whole crazy girls gone wild tequila parties, but something in me is longing for that. Sunshine, loud music, and a total lack of responsibility - that sounds great. Drunken groping frat boys, hangovers, loss of self-respect? Not so much. And yet, being home with the kidlet this week has me dreaming of Daytona. There's a bit of sadness about what I've let go by making the choices I've made, but more than that, it's an awakening that I need to put on my oxygen mask. I need to stake out some experiences that are just about me.

I don't want to become someone defined only by my child. I don't want every conversation to be about poop and naps and teething. I am thrilled to be a mama. I actually (surprise!) love spending hours reading books about monkeys and dancing to songs about cows and chasing him around and generally being silly. But that's just a part of me, and it will still be there when I am at a drum class or writing poetry or hanging out at the bar.

Even mama bears got to get their groove on.

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