No, no, of course I didn’t read all of the Twilight books. Or see all of the movies. Please, I belong to a much higher class of literary appreciation than those hopeless so-called Twihards.
But if I had read all of the books and couldn’t wait to see the final coming installment of the movie franchise, I might be inclined to make this little comparison.
Becoming a parent is like becoming a vampire.
(Yep, we’re doing this.)
In those famed preteen books, when one changes from human to vampire, the transformation is external and internal. nerd alert Ok, so in the last book, Bella finally gets what she wants and joins Edward’s forever family of vampires (subtle mormanism plug, ha! very sneaky, stephanie meyers.)
But get this- Bella only gets ‘changed over’ because she almost dies in childbirth, and getting ‘bit’ is her only hope for survival. So she gives birth to this half vampire/half human baby girl AND becomes a vampire, all in one fell swoop. She wakes up after this traumatic birth experience, now both a mother and a member of the undead society. Her skin glistens like diamonds and she is one of the most powerful beings on the planet. But here’s the key: She didn’t become a different person, but rather a completely different version of her old self. In some ways she is better; in some ways she is worse. But in all ways, she is completely and utterly irreversibly changed. Motherhood acts as the catalyst for the change she always wanted.
Still with me? The nerdiness is subsiding, I promise.
I used to worry that when I became a mother, I would stop being pretty. My hypothesis on motherhood was that in order to have children, you had to trade your beauty for theirs. With each child you had to give away part of your shine until you had a bright and beautiful family with a dull and worn out mommy.
But the truth is that children add a shine to your life that cannot be reproduced. No product or surgery or career move or successful venture can ever replicate the full-on blast of lovely that children toss over a family like a warm and happy blanket.
The addition of kids to your life is, indeed, like becoming a vampire. They bite deep and hard as soon as you look into their vulnerable little eyeballs, and you become a version of yourself that you never could have imagined. You are beautiful because they are beautiful. You are happy because they are happy. They are an extension of everything good and wonderful that you loved about yourself before they burst on the scene, and they are also tiny, selfish reminders of everything you have ever struggled with in your whole existence. Children are the catalyst for a change that cannot be undone.
It is lovely, and it is powerful.
It is permanent,
it is frightening,
and it is absolutely skin-sparkling-like-diamonds magic.
Now excuse me while I go make another order at the school book fair.