There seems to be a general consensus that becoming a mother changes you. I’ll admit I’ve seen it happen. Rock stars turned into prudes. Free spirits racked with fear.

Many things have changed for me. When milk is spit up all over my shoulder, I don’t immediately need to change my shirt. I hardly even find it disturbing. I sleep a lot less and appreciate the smaller blocks of sleep I get … all without getting grumpy over being woken up in the middle of the night (like I used to). And breastfeeding fascinates me where it used to make me slightly uncomfortable. I thought those women breastfeeding on planes or in stores wanted privacy, and maybe they do. But I’m coming to realize that it’s not that big of an issue, at least to a mother with a hungry baby. Now I’m filled with curiosity when anyone talks about it: How does she hold her baby? Does the baby claw maniacally at her breast (like my daughter sometimes does) throughout the feeding?

But who I am isn’t one of the things that has changed. If anything, I feel that it is important to be more me than ever. To recapture the energy, curiosity, and urge to explore that has taken a backseat to things like school, house renovations, and falling into the trap of money worries that have taken up most of my time the past two years. The person I want my daughter to know is the one who tangoed in the snow on an Alaskan trail, who spent New Year’s Eve in a crazy bar in Brussels the night they switched to the Euro, who slept on a train bunk bed in Spain on Halloween, who goes on a road trip to see an amazing singer performing over a thousand miles away (multiple times), who thinks of something fun and exciting and does it …

Having a child makes me want to do more, see more, be more. With her. Not to curl up in a safe place and fret over the recalls, pedophiles, viral infection of the year, and other hyped up threats to life. In the words of one of my favorite poems “Only the curious have, if they live, a tale worth telling at all.