Love changes everything

By Mir
July 17, 2008

You’ll have to forgive me a bit of sappiness, today, but this is what happens when I’ve just been to what was perhaps the nicest wedding I’ve ever attended (I’m not counting my own, you understand). While MY “year of living changerously” can be said to have already lapsed, on this last trip I was struck several times by the enormity of such changes for others.

Then, of course, it occurred to me that EVERY year is a year of change, for nearly everyone. But the changes wrought by love are my very favorites. I’m feeling incredibly blessed, today, to have gotten to share in some of these changes with our family and friends. This is especially true because we all know that I have chronic foot-in-mouth disease, and I remain astonished that anyone ever lets me go anywhere with them. (Hey, if I hadn’t shouted, “I THINK YOU SHOULD PULL THOSE PANTS UP A LITTLE HIGHER, OTTO!” during the pre-wedding slideshow featuring my beloved as a child in polyester bell-bottoms up to his armpits, who would’ve?)

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the presence of mind to clear the sharing of wedding pictures before the new couple left on their honeymoon, so I cannot show you how adorable they were. It’s just as well, because it would’ve made your teeth hurt. They couldn’t stop smiling.

At some point after the wedding I realized that I had never seen the card Otto purchased for them, so I asked him if he remembered to bring it. “I took care of it,” he said.

“But I didn’t get to sign it! Did you sign my name, too?”

Otto gave me the “have you been drinking?” look and chuckled. “Yes, dear. I signed your name too.”

“Well what did you write in it?” I pressed, ever the micro-manager, wanting to be sure that he’d said something I would’ve approved of.

“I told them that I hope that they will be as happy together as we’ve been with each other,” he said, and then I melted into a puddle all over the floor.

This is their year for everything to change, and he’s right—there’s nothing we could wish for them beyond the same happiness we’ve had. Not that it’s easy or without hiccups, but it’s definitely worth the price of admission.

* * * * *

Our last night in Massachusetts we went and enjoyed the evening with a group of friends Otto has known since high school. These dinners are always the highlight of our trips up there; the food is good, the conversation even better, and I was literally welcomed into this circle with open arms years ago, when Otto and I started dating the first time.

One of Otto’s friends and his wife had a baby about a year ago, and while I would’ve happily passed the evening just enjoying the adult company, I may have squealed a little when he walked in the door with the baby.

Meet Vivian:

(In case you can’t tell from that picture, her head smells wonderful.)

Granted, this particular baby is especially beautiful and personable (if you must know, I won her over with a cracker, because I am not above bribery when it comes to baby head-sniffing), but is there ANYTHING better than a baby? I don’t think there is.

Except maybe this: Watching the baby’s parents.

Truthfully, I wasn’t entirely sure I liked Otto’s friend, the first time I met him. (I am going to get in trouble for admitting this.) I knew that if he was one of Otto’s “inner circle” that he must deserve to be there, but I didn’t see it, right off. I saw someone who struck me as a player. He grew on me, though, and to compare the man I first met about five years ago to the man who swung his daughter up into his arms while she chattered “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” was something to behold.

It made me all nostalgic for my own first year of parenthood, and as I handed Vivian back to her dad I was profoundly grateful both for the chance to enjoy her babyness and that mine are no longer that small. Rather than longing I just felt right.

I’m right where I belong, right here. As are the newly marrieds. And the new(ish) parents. We’re all living changerously, in different ways, all the time.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. May you know the love that changes everything, always.


  1. Megan

    Changerousness is a permanent state – love makes it the right one. So glad you’re there.

  2. Holly

    This is a beautiful post. I had a baby six months ago and I go between being sad that he’s getting bigger and being SO happy to watch him grow and change. It’s a blessing and I’m so glad you’ve found that elusive contentment one rarely finds in life. Enjoy it!

  3. Leandra

    I could just eat that red-headed baby up with a spoon!

    You know, even though these days are often kind of hellish, I try to stop myself and remember, in just a few more years they won’t WANT me to do whatever it is they’re begging for me to do now. I try to cherish these times because they do change so fast.

  4. The Other Leanne

    Nice post, and you’re right–her head does smell wonderful! Get in line, Leandra, I’ve got the spoon first :)

  5. mamalang

    “Rather than longing I just felt right.” I love this. I “borrow” my friends baby, and this is the perfect way to describe my time with him. Thanks.

  6. Aimee

    Vivian is so sweet — I love her hair!

    Happy Love Thursday!

  7. nae

    gorgeous, gorgeous post xxx thank you

  8. prophet

    “The changes wrought by love are my very favorites.”


    well said!

  9. ChristieNY

    Mir, beautiful post. I lost my father this year to a sudden heart attack. Then my family & I moved to a new town. My whole world has changed this year. Thank you for giving me hope that life moves on and somehow, surrounded by the ones we love, everything is going to be okay. Thank you.

  10. Jen

    Aw so sweet. And yes, I can tell just from the photo that her head must smell heavenly!

  11. Melissa

    Didn’t someone suggest a little warning banner or something on your posts, where I’m going to end up all lumpy-throated before I need to get on a conference call? Thank you!

  12. dad

    Once upon a time, I had a little girl whose hair smelled very sweet. Things change. I’ll bet her hair still smells sweet but now she’s all grown up, smart, articulate, and I get to read about her in Time and Redbook and see her on the Today show. I am bleesed.
    Happiness is hard. Keep up the good work.

  13. angie

    That is an adorable baby, and what a lovely post!

  14. just beth

    just lovely. what a wonderful way to think about life.

    oh, and how sweet is your dad?? love him!

  15. Poppy

    Your post gave me a lump in my throat, but I completely lost it when I read your dad’s comment. Wonderful!

  16. StephLove

    I love red-headed babies. My 2 y/o daughter is blonde now but her hair was reddish until she was 16 months or so.

  17. susie

    Oh Mir’s Dad, your comments are my favorite! You should start your own blog!

  18. Sheila

    It’s wonderful to read that you are in a just right place. Even with gappy floors, soggy tomatoes and kids who are on a plane too often. Kudos to you for seeing the blessings all around you.

    Now, can we get back to humorous complaining so I can quit crying over here?

  19. Kathy

    Oh! I have a two-year old named Vivian. Here I thought we were the only ones that resurrected that beautiful name! I love this story! (I’m a red-head, too!)

  20. Melinda

    I just adore LOVE THURSDAY.

  21. Katie in MA

    I love your Love Thursday posts, Mir. And I love your “Changerous” term, too. I’ve used it a lot myself this past year as I make my way through a divorce and the process of finding myself again. Living “changerously” – the word itself never fails to inspire brave and magical thoughts.

    (Also, rather randomly but VERY important – you look FABULOUS in that picture!!)

  22. jfrancis

    is the space
    between two hearts.

  23. Astrogirl426

    It’s so funny that you feel that way about the baby thing. For a while now, I’ve been feeling like I want to have another baby, maybe, but not really, but then someone brings a baby around (you know, just random people bringing babies to my door – what, they don’t do that in your neighborhood? Odd.) and I feel like I miss having little tiny heads to sniff and little pudgy feet to kiss.

    Then, about 6 months ago, I found myself in the same space – I love holding the babies, and enjoying their cuddliness, but I’m really glad I’m not there anymore. It felt right, like you said, to be where I am with my 4-year old boy. Thanks for the wonderful post. :)

  24. Dawn

    Yes, enough of this smooshy love stuff. *sniff*

    Where does one find this love that changes everything? I would like to place an order, please!

  25. arduous

    I second the opinion that Mir’s dad should have a blog. Or at least he should guest post from time to time on Mir’s blog.

  26. All Adither

    Does she smell of strawberries or lilacs? Or perhaps bananas and chocolate chips. It’s gotta be one of those four things.

  27. juliness

    I may have said it before but allow me to state again for the record – I love the way you write! These are all such lovely and true sentiments…especially this one; “Not that it’s easy or without hiccups, but it’s definitely worth the price of admission.”

    Amen. And Amen.

    Now when can you snuggle with Ella? I’m pretty sure she needs her head sniffed.

  28. Barbara

    Well said! And smelling a baby’s head is one of my favorite things, too.

  29. Amy-Go

    I just found out that my brother is going to be a dad…and you said it. I feel just right. I’m so, so happy for him…and I can’t wait to get me some of that sweet baby niece or nephew…but I’m so, so glad I’m past that point.

    But then, you’ve met Sammy, so that probably doesn’t surprise you. ;)

  30. Cele

    what a wonderful post… and spot on too.

  31. Otto

    I’m quite sure someone would have mentioned it once. Just once …


  32. Em

    Yes. That is one good smelling baby head and I CAN tell by looking because it is all clean and brushed looking. My wild baby has a mixture of sunblock and sweat in his hair and it sticks up straight and crazy and smells decidedly less sweet (until bathtime when we wash the sweet back in.).

    It is also my opinion that guys a person might possibly describe as “a player” are to have daughters. I’m working on making it a scientific fact by waiting for my husband’s player friend to have a kid. When that happens, if its a girl, I will submit my findings into very important medical journals I do not know the name of and then donate my brain to science.

  33. Stacia

    Such a perfect post for me to read this morning. I am about to pick up my husband, who has been deployed for almost 4 months, from the airport. I am 6 1/2 months pregnant with our first child and I have his two children, who don’t know he’s coming to visit. I’ve never been happier and I wish I could make every one this happy!

  34. The Playah

    A player? That’s really funny. You didn’t know me very well, then. :) I might have wished/thought I was all Rico Suavé with the ladies, but if you ever saw me or any of Otto’s friends in a bar or club trying to meet women you would have some seriously funny blog fodder.

  35. Rick Bucich

    Very touching story! Oh how I can relate to the signing of the card story. No matter how eloquent the writing, I find it is better to seal the envelope before betraying what I’ve written.

  36. Catherine

    As usual, nicely played Ms Mir. Nicely played.

    I have to admit though, when I opened this post I was all like – *why* would she steal a picture of my baby and do this weird photoshopping thing? I could eat Vivian up … after I sniffed her head and rubbed her pretty, pretty red hair.

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