A recent blog post linking to a Slate article asks if parents’ brains are different than child-free brains. Off the top of my head, I would say that parents’ brains are non-existent. Actually, AWOL more accurately describes it: used to have a brain. In fact, I sometimes re-read things I wrote in University and am struck by how clever I was. Now, I stare at one of my children and call every other sibling’ name — including the dog — before I can remember the child’s name. A child I named myself!
One of my friends has a theory: what they call the placenta is really half of our brain. After six children, I’ll let you figure out how much grey matter I have left. But oddly enough, while I did lose short term memory and attention span with the “placenta” <wink, wink> I also lost the need for sleep and the ability to sweat the small stuff. Last night, at 2 am, when I was comforting my 2-year-old newborn baby, I marvelled at how relaxed she was, poured into my arms like warm milk; I marvelled at the complete trust she had in me, that the monsters of the night would not harm her if I only gave her a hug; I marvelled at the intelligent design of a child’s head, how the softness of the hair and the curve of the head was always a perfect fit for a mother’s neck and shoulder.
I don’t mind losing half of my brain as long as it is replaced with half of my heart.by