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3 months? 3!!

08 August 2014

"Everybody born comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory."
- Maya Angelou

+ You are such a happy baby. We are told this by strangers, family members, co-workers- you get the point. You smile big, watermelon-slice, smiles. You give away coy, flirty smirks. You are so thoroughly endearing. Yet, you are a contemplative little lady too- as seen above. It always seems there is a secret world of wondering going on in your mind.

+ You are a thumb-sucker. You have become a downright pro at the motor skill of bringing your hand to your mouth and you self-sooth like a champ.

+ You have fallen in love with your little lamb blanket lovey. You hold it, rub it on your face, suck on the silk edging, and hug it as you fall asleep on our long drive home from work. I love that you love it- it was a gift from Babah when she found out you were growing inside me and the embroidered "bless this child" words are my prayer every time I lay it across your lap.

+ You have gotten so strong- holding your head up, locking your knees and standing on my lap, lifting your legs more than any Pilates instructor.You haven't rolled over but that's entirely my fault- I love holding you too much and you haven't gotten all that much tummy time in which to discover rolling.

+ Your dad has taken to calling you "miss." I love overhearing the discourse: "well hello miss," "really miss," "is that so, miss?"

+ You make us laugh! You bring us so much joy. In my most overwhelmed or achy-sad moments, you remind me of my center. You are the most wonderful gift. I am obsessed with you.



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on motherhood

07 August 2014

I love my mom. We are dear friends, two of a kind. She understands me intricately. With her, I feel known and loved. Yet, when I became a mother nearly 3 months ago, it began to dawn on me that I never previously had the capacity to truly understand her love for me- to comprehend our intimate connection. The love of a mother is a desperate ache- a deeply rooted heavy heart for the life and body of this other being.

To be honest, I don't quite know what to do with the feeling.

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back to work

12 July 2014

Meeting Alice changed everything. All the seemingly trite things people say are true- you never know such love until you have a child, there is nothing better than becoming a parent, etc. All true. The world feels clearer- priorities sharper- and all I want to do with my time is be her mom. I want to give her every ounce of my ability and I want to learn how to love her. I don't want to miss a smile or a chance to smother my kisses into her deliciously chubby, smooshy cheeks. How was I to know this was how I would feel? It was impossible to know. It is all so much better and harder and more beautiful than I could possibly have imagined.

I did not know, so here we are with the reality of returning to work. The tearing has begun. I must admit that every day has been both better and worse than anticipated. I am clinging to the better as I bear through the worse.
A poster made by some of my students.
Alice and I have both done a significant amount of crying this week. There was the crying in anticipation of going back to work, which included the teary walk out of the house on Wednesday morning. Then there was the crying in the driveway that night after Alice had screamed much of the commute home. Thursday was the worst. Pulled over on 93S, 40 minutes from home, sobbing with my baby in the backseat? The. Worst. Alice is not a fan of commuting. The drive home that night was similarly traumatic. Friday we took a turn for the better though- she slept the entire drive to and just barely held it together the entire drive fro. And now, with three days of experience, I have a few acquired soothing tricks up my sleeve. We'll see how long they last, but I'm holding out hope that we've turned a corner. It feels like downright child abuse to stay buckled in as your child cries so forcefully she has coughing fits and spits up. I cannot do it. We will become far too familiar with the interstate's breakdown lane.

But the better- I'm struggling to keep it at the forefront- is so immense. My coworkers' support. A new boss who encourages me that it will be difficult but it will get better and to take it one day at a time. The gift of having Alice at work with me to smooth the transition- nothing has been said about the pack-n-play I set up in my office or my near-constant Moby wrap fashion statement. AND free babysitting is just a parking lot away, so that once I do let her go for a few hours at a time, I can still nurse her and see her whenever my heart needs. AND a husband who cooks dinner and does the dishes and washes the cloth diapers. These are HUGE things. Huge. Much to be thankful for.
View from my desk | A rearranged office | A baby is my favorite thing to wear
Here is the rub: ultimately I know that working, no matter the flexibility of my position and the support of my coworkers and hubby, means I cannot be the mom I wish so desperately I could be for Alice. A singularly focused, unstressed, totally present momma. As long as I work, I will need to navigate the balance and accept the tearing and turn away from her trusting gaze. It is what it is. I have much to be thankful for, but I cannot help but feel the loss of my unfettered days with this piece of me.

In a teary moment this week, attempting to communicate how it feels to commute with a crying babe, the only way I could think to describe it was "she came from my body." To ignore her needs, to hear her crying that she wants my full attention, is heartbreaking. In a way I have never known. She came from my body.

As they say, you never know such love until you have a child. Parenting is the best and the hardest.
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