There is something I tell myself quite a bit.
This something gets me through the rough patches. It sees me through certain moments of sadness or anger or frustration or despair. Speaking these words and letting the realization sink in raises my spirit up and up and up. Until I’m on my feet again. Until I find it somewhere within to keep going.
And it’s only four words that perform this magic-like trick. I say magic-like because they aren’t perfect. Sometimes the “magic” is slower to work and not always strong. But still, they work.
Here they are:
This is only temporary.
This is only temporary I say during every nauseous, draining first trimester I’ve experienced of pregnancy. This is only temporary I whisper at night as I fall asleep in a home that we’re renting, that isn’t ours. It’s just for a little while I think when I’m with the kids and Mitchell is working on the new house and I’m tired and lonely and parenting without him. This is only temporary I say when we have no family time together.
It won’t always be like this.
And all the other stuff that goes along with parenting? The sleepless nights, the teething, the potty-training, the seemingly endless breastfeeding, the tantrums, the growing pains, the overcoming? All temporary too. I’ve always known that. How else could I have four children with a fifth expected to join us this spring? I’ve always realized there was an end to the sometimes unpleasant… Continue reading
I’ve been waiting until I was certain I’d felt the first movements of this Baby Five to unveil our in utero name for him or her, but honestly that hasn’t yet happened. Almost 18 weeks and no kick, kick—what is up? We had our second appointment with our midwife yesterday and all is well. Heart rate in the 140s, which according to certain old wives’ tales, is on the cusp of indicating GIRL. Since it’s on the cusp though it could also indicate BOY.
Look, I am not a good gender predictor myself –haven’t been for any of my own babies except for Gus. I always knew Gus was Gus. So you won’t find me committing to either. But I do enjoy other people’s guesses!
Seems we’ve just got a chill baby hanging out in there. You know that’s okay by me. I’ll just continue to stand by, and concentrate, and before I drift off to sleep at night….feel for a sign from this babe.
This babe. Baby Five. I’m quite tired of calling Baby Five, Baby Five. You have to be too, no?
Mitchell took this picture of me at 16 weeks pregnant–almost two weeks ago. Without further ado…
Leo and Gus and Matilda came up with the name Cupcake. For weeks and weeks now they’ve been giving Cupcake hugs when the mood strikes them. Asking me how Cupcake is doing. We talk about how Cupcake is growing. When Cupcake will be coming out to meet us all.
Before… Continue reading
Where I went to high school–an all girls Catholic college prep type place–our colors were primarily navy and white. During my four years there I wore a lot of navy and white. A lot.
Conversely our main rival all girls school wore mostly maroon. It’s silly, but while on my whole meandering journey through high school I never bought a single item that hinted at being that kind of dark brownish red. What’s even sillier is that for years, years following graduation I STILL didn’t wear anything maroon. And the thing is…I didn’t realize I was doing it.
Didn’t realize I was avoiding a perfectly lovely color altogether because of my former high school’s opposition? Still shaking my head at that one. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with Matilda that I started noticing purples again. I was 28 years old then. Twenty-eight. So, that makes an entire decade of complete maroon color avoidance.
When I was expecting Matilda I was attracted to purpley reds, brownish reds. I indulged in shirts, scarves, pants, tanks, and more on that beautiful side of the color spectrum. Once I was became aware of the reason for my doing things—hey, this goes back to high school for me???—I changed my behavior. I stopped the ridiculous way I was dodging maroon.
Turns out I love the color maroon.
Sometimes I wonder what else I am avoiding without realizing I’m avoiding it. What else is already here or there waiting for me to fall (back) into… Continue reading
“True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.” ― Nikos Kazantzakis
For Matilda, who is very often one of my best teachers.
Mama, you have to be careful,
you call. Mama, I said Shhh. A troll is sleeping
under this bridge. Mama. But I am fumbling
with my camera and when I say
WHAT? It’s like I’ve snapped
a thousand twigs all at once with
the weight of my boot. Kicked up
sound. Fashioned sharp splinters from a pile
of smooth sticks. And like that. Lickity split. As much
a surprise to me as to you, I’ve awakened
the monster you so kindly warned me against. Do I do
this often, Love? I wonder. Disturb what is peacefully
at rest? Dredge the mud and the leaves from the floor,
pound them together into a fretful paste? Color over
your sky and your birds and your pretty rainbows, all the grass
with a solid, stinking brown? What must you think
of my mess making? It cannot be artful what I have a tendency
to do. I wake up trolls for Heaven’s sake. I wake up
trolls who live under bridges whom otherwise would let you
pass by unnoticed. Unscathed. Unchanged. So much safer
that way. You can imagine. I’m just an accidental obstacle add-er.
A bumbler. A muddler. A recorder. A reflector. A bugger who has
to ask what? and what? and what? over and over and once more.… Continue reading