My son's first birthday is just around the corner. It's strange to me how his presence still feels so new in our home. We started making adjustments to our life based on his existence well over a year ago, and the time that has passed since then has been spent constantly making modifications to our behavior, our daily schedule, and every other aspect of our life all to suit him.
I've come to the conclusion that what I described above is a fairly complete declaration of the early years of child rearing. Before the Chunky Monkey came along we were able to plan or anticipate most of our daily activities. Since his arrival we have been required to play it by ear almost every day. I can only compare it to an experienced stage performer moving from a role he has held for years to doing a nightly improv show.
But it is understandable. Every day Chunks is a slightly different person. His dietary needs change, then his sleep schedule changes, then his mobility changes, and then some other aspect of his life changes or the cycle begins anew. We are left to scramble along behind him, adjusting where we can to accommodate his development and try to salvage some recognizable form of the life we once knew and loved.
I may have been too cynical there. The truth is that our life has been vastly enriched by my son's presence. Even though I often feel that we are still in the "adjustment" phase of having a new baby, I feel like he has always been alive in our hearts. I think that the sentiment of "I couldn't imagine life without this (person/ technology/appliance)" has grown stale, personally I can't imagine shoveling the driveway without my iPod, so the same phrase just can't convey the depth of my son's impact on the lives of those around him.
So we modify, we adapt, and we do our best to give him what he needs. And if we can't figure out what those needs are right now, we can always rest assured that by the time we do figure it out, those needs will have changed to something else.