I’ll be the first to admit that yesterday was a bad day. I hesitated to post about my funk, but felt it only fair to draw the curtain on that side of things as I am so open about everything else. Ironically another woman that I’ve found friendship with through blogging wrote a similar sort of, dark side revealing post about parenting, or perhaps more specifically, about being a mom. It isn’t easy. I love it, in fact I tremble when I think of what might have happened if I’d walked a different path, if I’d kept moving too fast, my chin thrust too far in back-off-or-I’ll-bite stubborn defense tactic.
The simple truth is that I was supposed to do this and I wake every day with an excitement about all that is before me, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have moments when the all-consuming nature of this responsibility makes me buckle ever so slightly. As a mom who spends half of the work week working from home I identify with Kelly’s post. I understand being torn, pulled in opposite directions by two different worlds, mine is not so much a desire to not to get down on my hands and knees, but a sense of duty to my employer, to follow the work-at-home honor code to a literal T. It is a cruel and arduous battle that alternately has me cursing and counting my blessings.
Waking up this morning I worried that my bad mood of yesterday might still have a hold on me. I padded to the shower and stood beneath the hot spray. I stayed until the steam spilled over the shower curtain and began to swirl throughout our tiny bathroom. Getting dressed was surprisingly easy, I fought the urge to pull on jeans and instead slipped into a pair of impossibly comfortable black Gap maternity dress pants. Later as I did my hair (which yesterday did NOT cooperate and made me fear I had gotten nothing more than a glorified Dorothy Hamil bowl cut, which works if you’re 5’2″ and wearing a leotard and ice skates, but at 5’10” and pregnant, ain’t cute) I began to get the hang of drying, straightening and using some sort of goop. (It’s all in the goop!)
I walked into the living room and Avery was breathless:
“Mama, goggie woofin, ‘s’a goggie woofin!”
I looked at her, “You hear a doggie barking?”
“Yeah, hear a goggie woofin’!” and with that she jumped up and down and pointed to the computer.
She hurried toward the computer, stopping three times in the twelve feet to turn to me, attempt to jump with her feet never leaving the ground and declaring, “S’a goggie woofin’!”
Watching her, it was as if the clock had been turned back, the wholeness of my joy as undiluted as the moment they placed her on my chest those 18 months ago. She stood, back to me, dark, silky tresses curling wildly and framing the familiar shape of her head, narrower than her sister’s upon a longer neck. The backs of her elbows still dimpled, but the hands beyond less baby-like, more capable. A brief moment in time just beyond baby and well into toddler, a little girl already knocking outside the window of this room we’re in, came as a blessing, as they always do.
There is a perfect symmetry, an exquisitely choreographed magic to the tide of emotions along this journey. While I was pregnant I went through euphoria and terror, anxiety and exhaustion, and as each emotion passed there came a new stage in which I needed to have shed that last layer. My yesterday, my low, foggy yesterday gave me pause, it had me moving slower this morning, and with that absence of rushing came an awakening. I saw Avery.
I really saw her. I didn’t move, didn’t try to drink my coffee, check my email or fold laundry. I just let myself see her, allowed myself to marvel once again at this little person Sean and I created. I felt the weight that had been so strong just a day before fluttering from the jagged edges upon which it had become stuck, the frustrations and the worries, the challenges and the sorrows, gone. Avery turned to me and there was no catching up, I was in the moment and she knew it. She threw her hands out and ran to me. Hands and mind free I surprised her halfway and we sat, holding on to each other in the sunlight streaming through the window.