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Things I Love the Most


This Valentine's Day I've come to a shocking conclusion: my internal list of Things I Love Most in the World has radically changed. Oh, of course I don't mean friends or family and all that. They will always be on it. I mean things like, say, Godiva chocolates, fancy jewelry or Paris in the spring. Somehow, when I wasn't paying attention, they've fallen off the list and have been replaced by leak-free diapers and stain remover. Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that such a sophisticated, sane person like me can't possibly love stain remover more than Godiva chocolates. And there was a time that I'd say you were right. But that was before I became a mother of a child-who-goes-through-tee-shirts-like-Kleenex.



In fact, and this may come as a shock, having children has caused me to appreciate things I never thought appreciable.



So, for Valentine's Day, I've made a new list of Things I Love Most in the World:



What I loved before having children: Discovering a romantic hide-a-way for two.


What I love now: Discovering a spare pacifier wedged between the cushions in the back seat of the car.



Before: Fredrick’s of Hollywood lingerie.


Now: Bathing suits with skirts.



Before: Listening to public radio.


Now: Listening to the neighbor's dinner conversation through the baby monitor.



Before: Spending time alone inYosemite Valley.


Now: Spending time alone inside the bathroom.



Before: Dancing until midnight.


Now: Going to bed at 7:30.



Before: White River rafting down the Russian river.


Now: Staying dry during bath time.



Before: Loud heavy metal rock concerts.


Now: A baby swing that doesn't screech when you rewind it.



Before: The portrait of Monet's Garden.


Now: The crayon picture, stuck to the refrigerator, of me as a tall, purple stick figure with a lolly-pop head.



Before: A dozen red roses.


Now: A sturdy swim diaper.



Before: Sensitive men who are in touch with their feminine side and not afraid to share their innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions.


Now: Men who paint.



Before: Champagne.


Now: Juice boxes.



Before: The Macarena.


Now: Macaroni.



Before: Harrison Ford, Dennis Quad, and Richard Gere.


Now: Arthur, Franklin, and "Steve".



Before: Traveling across Europe with a backpack and a Eurorail pass.


Now: Walking down the driveway to get the mail.





Before: Imported Italian leather.


Now: ScotchGuard.



Before: Anything Armani.


Now: Anything preassembled.



Before: AMaking it all of the way up Half Dome with nothing, but a rope, a backpack and my bare hands.


Now: Getting a straw all the way inside of a juice box without poking a hole through the sides and dripping red punch down my leg.



Before: Long love notes.


Now: Short picture books.



Before: Veal chops in Dijon mustard sauce and grilled Atlantic salmon over pasta with raspberry butter.


Now: Strained baby peaches.



Before: French cologne.


Now: Desitin.



Before: Hot red sandals.


Now: Orthopedic tennis shoes.



Before: The quote, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breath and height my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight for the ends of being and ideal grace."


Now: The words, "Mommy, I love you."


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