For as much as the relatives clamour for Oliver's photos, I think it would be fair for me to take up a collection towards a new camera. Because, honestly? 90% of the photos I take are ruined because they are blurry. I spent about an hour trying to take a good photo of him and I came out with THREE acceptable ones. This is because 1. He will not sit still long enough for my three hour long shutter speed setting and 2. I am not skilled in photography and 3. A winter day in Minnesota is not unlike taking pictures in a cave.
I am pretty sure this could be remedied with a new camera. Could I buy one? Yes. I've been selling away our packrat junk on Craigslist and I could purchase a new camera with my earnings. However, at this time I can't justify spending that money on a camera when I know I could instead pay all of our utilities and bills for the month. Instead, I will be charging a $1 fee for sending Oliver photos to the paparazzi. Yeah. That'll buy me a camera pretty soon.
We've actually got quite a bit of junk to sell on Craigslist. Old baby stuff that Oliver is too big for sells like hotcakes. People jumped all over my taking-up-closet-space futon mattress. Some old jeans that don't fit me anymore paid for my tank of gas. Pregnancy books are out of my shelves and I'm $12 richer. It is nice to get rid of the stuff. I feel good clearing out spaces and rearranging the apartment's drawers and cupboards. Jared has a harder time letting things go, though. He has stacks of video games in my cabinets that he never plays anymore and that I doubt he will ever play again... but I'm forbidden from selling them. There are clothes that I have seen him wear maybe once in the three years he's been living in Minnesota, but HEAVEN FORBID I SUGGEST HE DONATE SOME TO GOODWILL. He is good at thinking up reasons of why we should keep things that he probably didn't even know we had until I asked if we could get rid of them. I am going to stop asking.
I'm different, though. I had fun going through my stuff and remembering the "good ol' days" when it served a purpose for me. Some things had some good memories but they just weren't worth keeping around, causing clutter in my brain. When you have three people living in 850 sq feet some things will be sacrificed. So, I've gone through my drawers and boxes, took some time to think about how much I enjoyed those things, and sent them packing. Spring cleaning has never felt so good.
The only items that were harder to get rid of were Oliver's tiny clothes. I have a hard time remembering him being that small. In my mind, he has always been here and he has always been able to sit up, smile, laugh. It doesn't seem like him when I try to remember the age when he just folded into himself in a pile of baby smelling mush, before he could interact or even make eye contact with me. Watching videos from just a month ago makes me think, Wow.. was he ever really like that? I can't even believe that he has been here less than half of a year, when it seems like my life has changed so much that this "new" way is the only way it's ever been for me.
My "new" life is so much better than my old one. For as much as he drives me crazy, I really like hanging out with him and I miss him so much when I'm away. Sometimes I like having him as an excuse for not getting anything done. No one ever accuses me of being lazy, even though we are, spending entire days in our pajamas, playing with Wallace the stuffed moose.
While I was pregnant, one person in particular took every occasion to tell me I was too young to be doing this "all by myself." I had no experience. I was biting off more than I could chew. I was too _____ and too little _____ and nowhere near ____ enough. She really freaked me out and made me feel bad at the time, but I can see how stupid she was now. I'm not too young. I'm not "all by myself" by any means. And I am definitely ___ enough and totally just perfectly ______.
Sure, being younger means that I'm lacking some bits of age accrued wisdom. It also may mean that, materially and financially, I'm not as well off. People don't take me as seriously as somebody ten years my senior.
I don't really know what a 401K is. A large portion of our meals out come off of value menus or early bird specials. I was excited when Jared splurged and bought Tropicana brand OJ. Salesmen won't be rushing to my aid, trying to sell me the top of the line anything.
There are so many more important benefits that I do have. My life is flexible. I'm open to new things and I can roll with whatever gets sent my way. Time hasn't had the chance to sour me or make me bitter, and I hope it never will. I have a lot of fun living my life and doing silly things, which is something that Ye Olde Windbag didn't take into account when she unfairly judged me.
I am healthy. More than likely, I will see my grandchildren. I am up to date on technology & entertainment. According to an algorithm I just cooked up in my head, I am 78% more likely to be the "cool parent" when Oliver is in school.
I think he will come to appreciate that.
Because when he says, "Don't step onto the carpet because it is lava and the drones of space fighter technology will sic their half human half porpoise guards on you!" I will be all, "Yes, and let me go get my radiation shield belt to defend myself!"