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By: Renee Garcia
July, 2000

I look around my livingroom (my makeshift playground) and wonder what my life has become.... In the last year everything has changed. I have gone from late nights out with friends to late nights up with a crying baby; from worrying about tests at school and that homework I never got done to worrying about fevers and diaper rash.
My life is no longer my own, and you know, that's a good thing, because I would not know what to do with it now anyway. I went from Sony™ and Magnavox™ to Fisher Price™ and Playskool™... at any given time in my house or car you could hear the piercing tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" or "Row, Row, Row, Your Boat". We have spinning rattles and chirping birds and rubber duckies and many sets of plastic car keys; we have baby bottles and sippy cups mixed with our dinner dishes. Our cupboards, which used to be stocked with junk food, now hold an assortion of Gerber™ fruits and veggies... My CD and video collection has quickly changed from Shania Twain and Julia Roberts to Veggie Tales™ and Blues Clues™ and Sesame Street™.... Our spontaneous trips to the beach or the mountains or Las Vegas (ha ha) now require days of planning and asking many times "Do we have enough diapers?" "Did you pack her jacket?" "Where are her socks!?!" and "Please, oh please do NOT forget her pacifier!"
No, my life is no longer my own... I am lacking sleep, lacking a hot meal, lacking my new summer wardrobe and all the other luxuries of life that I was so used to.... you'd think I would be miserable.... Yet I sit here and glance at my precious, precious little girl sound asleep in her swing after a day of church, and then to the park to play in the water, and then to a bar-be-que with family, followed by her first time in the swimming pool and I just thank God for depriving me of sleep and new clothes and a hot meal, because you see, if I had those things I would not have had today....
I would not see that wonderful smile every morning as I get my little girl out of bed, her precious little hands reaching out to me, depending on me for everything. I would not get to see her make a huge mess when I feed her cereal. I would not get to hear her uncontrollable laughter as I spin her around the room or play peek-a-boo. Never would I have imagined that I would get tears in my eyes and receive such inexplicable joy from hearing the word "mama", or as she likes to say "mamamamamamama". I would miss that beautiful little hand opening and closing as she waves "bye-bye" to friends and family. I would not get to brag about her finally crawling and pulling herself up.... I would not get to baby proof my house.
If a full nights sleep means not getting to see her first step or hearing her one day say "I love you", then I would never sleep again. For sure, my life has changed, my heart is full.... and all I can do is thank God!