Slowly, bits and pieces of my former child-free self are finding their way back to me.
I shower almost everyday. I apply under-eye concealer to the dark holes under my eyes 2 out of every 5 times I leave the house. I no longer moonlight as a cow. Tonight, I even donned the super cute black and white striped dress, with pockets, my husband gave me for my birthday and headed to dinner with my two favorite guys.
My former self was relatively pulled together fashion-wise. While never up-to-date on the trend of the moment or the season's hottest color, I like to think I had an eye for coordinating colors, textures, prints and patterns, and shoes. Today in black and white stripes, pink flats and a baby in my left arm, I felt just as good as back in the day when I wore a navy dress with a brown belt, a necklace with different hues of oversized brown beads, tan shoes, and a bright orange clutch under my left arm.
The new puzzle is forming with some distinct markers from the old one, but it will never be exactly the same because these random pieces that float back are no longer quite the right shape. The rectangle that was my love of shoes finds that mom-sensible flats have morphed its space into a triangle. The circular piece for my J. Crew professional attire is now trying to cram into an oval created by old race t-shirts and sundresses. The parabola formerly reserved for my gym obsession has come back to find a rectangle-shaped space encroached on all sides by sleep.
This was perhaps most evident as we sat at dinner eating guac and drinking beers while the baby slept blissfully next to us.
"What's that on your wrist?" my husband asked as I flipped my chip deftly into my mouth.
Half expecting a bracelet or watch I'd decided to throw on to complete the outfit I glanced down.
"Oh," I said, "it's a dried booger. The baby smushed his nose all over me before we left. I must have missed some." I brushed it off and remembered that some bold accessory choices just don't pay off.