In the days after I had Ella, the chorus to this song ran through my head constantly.
All that I'm after is a life full of laughter
As long as I'm laughing with you
I'm thinkin' that all that still matters is love ever after
After the life we've been through
'Cause I know there's no life after you
I don't really know why this song stuck in my head. I wasn't a huge Daughtry fan and I can't say I had really heard the song a bunch before, but everytime my mind wasn't full of worry about our new life, I heard those lyrics playing loud and clear. The night we brough Ella home I decided to give her a bath and I turned on my little radio in the bathroom and what did I hear? This song. I sat down (after removing her from her baby bathtub) and sobbed. Giant sobs that were so loud Mike came into the room. I couldn't tell him why I was crying other than the fact that the song was on. If you listen to the whole song, it doesn't really have a thing to do with my situation (I mean, Mike has never had his car break down on his way to tell me how awesome I am, not yet at least) but the song kept playing over and over again in my mind.
I remember scribbling down on an envelope the words and a few thoughts after each line - All that I was after was a life full of laughter and suddenly, in the span of an hour and a few pushes, I was given a different life. No laughter, just pain and sadness. The song played in my head like a script that was mocking me. As long as I'm laughing with you - nope, this wouldn't happen, I wouldn't laugh with anyone, what would there be to laugh about. I'm thinkin' that all that still matters is love ever after - In those first few hours, all that mattered is that my life was over. My baby girl was different. Love couldn't - at that point - fix that. Nothing mattered anymore but the shocking news that was my new life. After the life we've been through - This line was the worst. Who did I piss off to get this new life? After the life we've been through shouldn't I get a new baby with rosy cheeks and an outcome just like other new babies? 'Cause I know there's no life after you - I took this line literally. No life after you. Everything would be different. I would never leave the house. People will stare. I will become so consumed with the diagnosis that I won't ever be the same.
Yes, I thought these things. I heard this song everytime I shut my eyes or took a shower. The minute I had time to just be quiet this song played and I teared up. I cried for everything these lyrics meant, this stupid chorus was ruining my life and it played constantly.
At some point I downloaded the song and played it over and over again and cried and cried and hated Chris Daughtry for writing a song about a girl and making it so much about a baby to me.
After the first week at home (and a few glasses of wine and a few good cries) I started to hear the song differently. All that I'm after is a life full of laughter - Of course that's all I am after. That should be all that anyone is after. Laughter. What is better than a big belly laugh from your kids or your husband or your 90 year old grandma. NOTHING! Those few pushes didn't change what I am after! As long as I'm laughing with you - If I am laughing with you it means we are both still above ground and able to communicate. Maybe, in Ella's case it doesn't quite yet mean laughing real laughs, but it means I am with you, smiling, happy, that means we have things to laugh about. Who doesn't find humor in throwing paper clips as your assistant or slapping your husbands butt as we stand in the checkout line at the grocery store! I do!! I'm thinkin' that all that still matters is love ever after - This might be just a line in a Daughtry song, but it is very prophetic - love ever after IS all that matters. Of course it is. I could be the richest person in the world or the prettiest or the president of the united states but really, all that matters is love. Love in any form. Love from my kids, my husband, my love of pedicures or my love of my work. Love is what matters. Loving what I am, what I do, where I am. Loving the fact that I am here and my baby girl is different. To love something means you love it no matter how awful it is (when I get a bad pedicure I still go back for another 3 weeks later) and you love it no matter how wonderful it is. After the life we've been through - So true. Something I couldn't understand right after I learned Ella had Down syndrome, but now, after what we have been through, I understand it. I get that sometimes you have to experience something bad to appreciate something so good. When life is too perfect you get spoiled. You forget to thank your lucky stars and throw the salt over your shoulder when you spill it. After getting bad news (once you emerge out of the fog) you see things differently. The flowers are a little brighter and the salt doesn't spill as much (but when it does, you make sure to toss the whole shaker over your shoulder). 'Cause I know there's no life after you - Do I really need to elaborate? Ella is here, she is perfect and without her, I wouldn't of ever thought this deeply about a Daughtry song. There is no life after her and sometimes, I don't even know how there was life before her...
Thanks American Idol. Your offspring saved me a ton of money in therapy. :) If I was more talented I would have this song playing in the background right now, but I am not, so instead, I leave you with a picture of why I know the chorus of this silly Daughtry song plays everyday in my head. Sing the song (just the chorus!) and look at this picture and you will get it.
And thank you to Erin who is never afraid to call me out when I don't keep my promises.