INT: A LIVING ROOM
MARIA, a woman in her early forties, is rocking her infant son while breastfeeding late at night. There is a storm outside.
(Is singing a lullaby and slowly stops)
This is it. There are some moments you know you'll remember forever. Not because something memorable happens, but because for just the briefest moment you get broken out of the cycle of endless days and you understand exactly where that moment stands in the whole history of the world.
(Looks down at the baby and smiles)
You would be the one making me notice it, too. I never thought I'd want anything to do with your kind. "Give away your life and never get it back" would be the censored version of my views on parenthood. I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to wake up in the middle of the night to let a leech suck on their chapped nipples, then be a zombie all day doing laundry and listening to the little parasite scream. Day after day after day. I thought I'd be giving away my youth. As though youth is something you can just hold onto if you hold out on making choices.
The most important thing is realizing that it all ends anyway, and you can't stop any of it. I didn't want to know that before now. I wanted the illusion that I could stay rooted and the world would flow around my ankles. But here you are and my nipples are chapped and sometimes I do feel like a zombie, but it isn't unending, it's…ephemeral. Rain pattering on the roof and your tiny body fitting perfectly in my arms and my skin still looks youngish and none of it is going to last very long at all. You're my little barometer for how quickly time really passes. I never knew until right now. I was afraid to know, I think.
(With a look of deep contentment)
And it isn't nearly as scary as I thought. Now that you're here, I can see your whole life ahead of you, which means that I have to see my whole life ahead of me too. I'm going to get old. You're going to become such a beautiful young man. I wasn't really aware that I would die until right now, or that I'd be so okay with it. Forty years of running from this one realization, and it isn't so bad now that it's here. Knowing that being replaced in the world can be a kind of joy. Knowing that the cycle doesn't have to be the grind of the wheel turning—it can be winter, spring, summer, fall.