You cried out in terror last night around 10:30pm, I know it is against the rules, but I nursed you back to sleep. I had to. I couldn’t deny you. I don’t know how to, not when you are scared like that and really need me. Your whole body relaxes and a huge sigh escapes your nipple filled mouth the second you two make contact. That you can go from ballistics to serenity in that short amount of time baffles me and makes me wonder how nursing you could ever be wrong.
I think that because I have had such a hard time learning how to soothe myself (without the aid of alcohol or drugs or a plethora of other destructive distractions) that it is extremely satisfying for me to be able to soothe you so easily. It’s a guilty pleasure, and not one that I am in any hurry to give up.
After I laid you back down, contented and back asleep, I proceeded to lie awake in bed for 2 hours tormented by my racing obsessive mind. It began with me reminiscing about our day at the park with all the other new mommy friends. There was a distinct moment that has haunted me ever since. I asked at one point, how many mom’s co-slept, thinking that in this modern group there wouldn’t be many. I was wrong. All of them did, except for us. I felt strange and left out suddenly. LIke it was weird that we didn’t co-sleep and that I was somehow doing something wrong, very very wrong. Now I know this is erroneous. There are plenty of people I know that don’t and have happy thriving children, of which you are one, and don’t regret it one bit, and I feel awesome when I am around them. But I can’t always be around people that are exactly like me. It’s not possible. And my impressive impressionability is killing me. I hate it. How quickly I can doubt something that is working great for our family just because I am in the minority, for an hour tops. Strange. I would like that character defect to be removed, please. If anyone is listening.
Then I moved on to thinking about the last blog I wrote, where I was reflecting on our last year together and I realized how many important things I had left out that I really wanted to put down on ‘paper.’ How I remember vividly that first moment when your body touched mine. How slimy blue and grey you were and how I was in total shock that you actually existed. Or when your Dad came running back into the bedroom with you that first night at home, terrified because you coughed and we thought you were dying. Your first giggle. The first fight over what to do when you cried. The pain and confusion about having to negotiate something so emotionally charged with someone I loved so much about someone I loved more than I ever thought was possible. Nursing you in the moonlight, falling in love with your breath. Smelling your head, ears, neck, arms, legs, and butt. Squishing you over and over again, making sure you are real. Your first crawl, your first step, the first 10 steps, then you are walking. Wanting to hug you so tight with my head buried in your neck and you pushing me away so you can go explore. Me, letting you go, realizing it is just the beginning. Holding you on my lap this morning and when I sighed out of frustration for a minute because you wouldn’t let me put you down, he reminded me that there will come a day you won’t want to be in my arms. And he is right. And it made me want to cry. So many wonderful incredible things.
Thinking about them all made me realize again, how different I am today. And then it started- the grieving process. I am not even entirely sure what I am grieving, but it feels substantial. There is a death of some sort going on- maybe the death of the old me? It sounds so self-helpey, i hate it. But it might be accurate. And in this time between the birth of whatever I am becoming, I feel a little lost. It is an arrow pointing directly to my agnosticism. Exactly where I don’t have any faith. I am coming out of a pretty in depth experience seriously looking at all my old ideas and behaviors and really honestly sincerely asking for them to be removed, knowing that the fear underneath it is this fear of losing my “identity.” And it has happened, I’ve lost it, the worst has happened, so now what? I heard myself talking out loud to my best friend yesterday about whether or not to take this UCLA extension course on getting your memoir to the next draft. And I could hear, so clearly, the lack of passion I have for this body of work I have toted around for years. It has defined me for so long, and I am just realizing, it no longer does. That is the death I am mourning. The death of Deprivation Junky. I am burying it. It is filled with associations I no longer associate with. It is written in a voice I no longer have. It is a story I no longer want to tell, because it isn’t true. In realizing how blessed my entire life has been, up until this moment, it would be heresy to put that version out there, because none of it then is true. The lense it was written in is fucked up. And I am no longer fucked up, in that way, at least. I have to be authentic to who I am today. Even if I have no idea who that is and I feel boring and bland and average. A worker among workers. A mother among mothers. I used to think I needed some grand societal gesture of acceptance to feel that I had arrived. That’s not the case anymore. And not yearning for that has left a hole in my psyche that hasn’t fully been filled up yet with…whatever. I am in limbo and a little bit of fear of what will fill that up. Teaching is in there somewhere, it is growing like those things you put in water and they expand and I am grateful for that. I just feel the empty space and I am so used to it being filled with all this desire for “success” that it feels hollow. But maybe hollow is good. It’s simple. It’s clear. It’s calm. It’s peaceful. It’s serene. It’s everything I have ever wanted, really.
So that is what was running through my head till 1am. Then you woke up at 5am.
Ahh..the joys of motherhood.
We are all going to be fine.