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On becoming a parent.

Everyone says "sleep now"
Everyone says "it'll change your life"
Everyone says "just you wait"

What else are you going to do but wait?

And then it happens.

And you don't care that you don't get any sleep anymore, because when the Little Thing wakes you at one AM and at three AM and at four-thirty and at twenty till seven you see that this little person is the best thing in the world, and it makes you happy just to see it.

Even at 2 am.

...And you feel sorry for everyone else, because they can't have children as beautiful as this one. Because The Child is a little piece of perfect that just gets better every minute. It learns to smile and when it sees you come home it smiles because you're there. When it cries you just stare at it "Look at that brow as it lowers!", you think "Watch that tongue squirm and shudder! Listen to that yell! Those lungs are healthy!" and you don't care that it's been two months since you slept five hours in a stretch (you who thought you could never do with less than nine).

...And the work that was so life-threateningly important and so compelling is suddenly the last thing you want to do; you leave at Five and feel like you've cheated your child and your partner out of something by not leaving at Four.

Your spouse, always your friend, always your confidant is suddenly the same and so much more. Every moment is in stark relief; the simple chores of every day are recognized by the heroic efforts that are required to produce them despite fatigue and the gravitic attraction of the newest center of the universe.