05 May 2018
it's saturday morning and i am writing this from the creaky wooden chair by the window while all the neighborhood yawns its way into the day. i am listening to the national's album from 2003 because i like the memories it wraps me in and i am diffusing jasmine oil because it reminds me of south carolina. my boys are napping in the bedroom and we have plans to go to brooklyn today, but we are in no hurry to get there or anywhere else. here, now, is something sacred.
since becoming a mother, the way i spend time has deeply shifted. i am more discerning, and when a moment is good, i am happy to climb inside and stay a long, long while. i cling only to what is important, truly necessary, to our happiness and our wholeness.
everything is more layered than it used to be, and everything is simpler than it used to be. both of these things are true.
what little my soul knew before this tiny, beautiful boy.
in his short three months, he has changed us. he has become our teacher. he has taught us to slow down — i mean really slow down — and breathe. he softens us. he wakes with a smile and he moves through the world gently and contentedly. he is happy to be here.
i am learning so much about love and living deliberately from someone whose time on earth is measured in weeks. isn't that something? isn't that everything?
other things i have learned so far, since becoming a mother:
when he is having a hard time, put him in water. it soothes him every time.
a baby is a whole person. he's got all the emotions and feelings of anyone else.
lean into his cues and let them be enough. ignore the commentary.
make a song of it. i sing all day over here.
keep a space for myself. beside our rocking chair sits an antique school desk we found at a garage sale last spring for $5. atop it sits a lamp with soft lighting, our oil diffuser, a row of poetry books i have been reading to francis since i first learned of him last summer, an assortment of journals i am keeping, a milk bottle of fresh flowers, and a posy of letters written to me by my tribe with inscriptions such as "to the new mama" and "mama bird." this corner is a haven to me. i can see it from where i nurse, and not a day passes where i don't feel uplifted by all it contains. it is a soft landing. it is a living, breathing encouragement to me as a mother, as a woman.
write upon my heart. i want to write it all down. i want to capture everything, everything, and articulate just how much this motherhood means to me. i want to write about how special our boy is and the way i ache for him the rare moments when he is not in my arms and the physical way i experience happiness when his eyes find mine and the way he sucks in his bottom lip. i want to write about my husband's exquisite fatherhood and how francis reaches for my hand at the exact moment i reach for his and how i thought i knew happiness and then francis smiled. but in uncountable ways, i quite literally struggle to marry words into sentences. i put my pen to paper, and it feels insufficient. and i am learning that it is enough to be blissfully, entirely, enveloped in exactly where i am. it is enough to press petals between pages and to scribble down fragments (your first walk amongst the cherry blossoms, central park) as they pierce me. it is enough to tuck away my camera and close my eyes and trust my soul to imprint. it is enough to be aware, if only in my heart, of these moments as they ripple through me and turn to memories.