June 14, 2008

motherhood after year one

I had a baby a year ago.
Today, he stands before me a small man.
I still see him as small when that soft moon-shaped face looks up at me, arms extended, asking to be picked-up.
He is irresistible.

His walking, babbling, and smile full of teeth amaze, just as much as his loving spirit and upset squawks.

My child is honest.
He is always in the moment, because for him that is all there is.

Being a mom, or even just being me, I find that level of mindfulness hard to attain.

Someone asked me today: “How is it being a mom?”

I could only describe it as a strange topography of ups and downs that exist simultaneously.

In one moment there is love, frustration, isolation and a total lack of privacy. You cannot go places or do things you used to but most of the time all you want to do is rush home, to watch him do the little things. By soaking him in, I get to relive life.

The first year of his life has gone by so quickly for me it is already out of focus. The memories and days are so blurry, as they rush away from me.

He gives everything nuance and texture.

I re-do, re-taste, re-feel, re-see, re-hear with him.

Sometimes, I channel my mother far too easily, but he wills me to respond in a motherly fashion. He has a secret control over my body that goes beyond breastfeeding.

I want to thank him for giving me the chance to see the world again, in smaller cuts, in slow-motion, and remember some of the things I’ve forgotten, and teaching me the things I never learnt the first time around. These words will be here for him when he learns to read poetry.

I cannot share these thoughts with many people. I do not have many friends left who can fall into the spaces between words and really see the depth and proportion of feelings that I am laying out here.

I am spelling out inadequacy with italics enough to shame some.
I am putting AWE in capitals.
The feelings of motherhood are immense but I remember to feel gratitude.

In Texas, people called him an angel from heaven.
My body remembers the months spent growing him inside.
My heart agrees with the Texans, he is an angelic soul I want to exalt until I die.


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