The time before

Nearly three years into being parents, our house has very few vestiges of the life we knew before. The bookshelves are crammed with Mo Willems books, the silverware drawer contains miniature, pink-handled flatware and no load of laundry is without tiny socks and possibly an undetected sticker or two.

But every now and then I uncover an unintended time capsule, something that offers a little reminder of how different life was before Nora came along.

Last week I pulled a coat out of the closet that I hadn't worn in quite a while -- apparently, not since Nora was born. How did I know? The pockets had no trace of crushed-up Goldfish crackers. No sticker (as far as I could tell) had ever touched the coat's surface. A shopping list I found folded neatly in a pocket contained nothing about apple juice or diapers.

I remembered some good times I had in that coat. Dinners out with friends, a drink or two at a bar with coworkers, even a few rock shows with my husband back when neither of us were sneaking looks at our cell phones for calls from a babysitter.

I admit, I heaved a sigh for those days. But my current life isn't so bad (though I *could* really do without Goldfish crumbs in my pockets – HATE that). Sure, there are fewer dinners out with friends, and the ones we do manage involve more bargaining with a squirmy toddler than witty grownup conversation, but it's really kind of cheery to be decorated with stickers every day. And I find I don't really mind staying at home in the evenings. When you have a two-year-old, the entertainment is tough to beat!