until next time

And so my final post for who knows how long is coming later than promised. I suppose that’s only to be expected as a hiatus draws near, as the gears of this blog slowly stop turning and finally grind to an indefinite halt.

Next week FJ will be eight months old. This has been the most difficult and most joyous eight months of my life. I wouldn’t change it for anything that could ever be offered to me in heaven or on earth, but motherhood is nothing like I expected it might be.

I don’t know what I expected, exactly. Easy was never a word that came to mind, and yet there was no way for me to fully grasp what it is like to take care of a human 24/7–how simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating it truly is.

I have always loved children. I was *the* babysitter from 13 to 18 and it was my only job–a job I adored. I thought I had an inkling of what was in store. But this is nothing like babysitting. For one: the job. Never. Ends.

It changes though; it has changed already. A once completely immobile, dependent (but don’t get me wrong–incredible) newborn is now crawling and full of life. She is our sassy little firework, making every day new and exciting. In many ways those changes have made life easier.

And babysitting certainly didn’t hold the pure and encompassing joy of being a mother. It’s the joy of seeing her hold a flower for the first time, press her palms into dewy grass, breathe in the smells from a coffee bag or a spice jar. It’s the smile that erupts from the simplest things, like pressing the buttons on our elevator or seeing her dad come home from work. It’s in giggles and tickles, in the way she looks while she naps, snuggled up nursing as the soft light in our bedroom kisses her round cheeks and long lashes. The way she pants when she is excited. Her round legs. The sweet, milky smell of her breath. What joy.

Being FJ’s mom is truly an honor and a privilege. I only hope I can do half as good of a job raising her as I want to. I wish a life of happiness and love for my sweet girl, a life of adventure and believing in herself and in the beauty in the world and in others.

And in truth I will miss these days dearly. I can already feel it, her babyness slipping away into the body and mind of a toddler. But that’s my job, isn’t it? To help her grow up, not to keep her young forever. I’m raising a future woman, not a forever baby. And though I will miss these sweet days, thank goodness for that.

FJ, I promise to unconditionally love and accept you for as long as I live. If I ever forget that along the way, please point me to these words. You deserve nothing less.

Until next time, dear friends.


26 weeks, and words to meditate on

How simply lovely…

Frail newborn wings,
Small voice that sings,
New little beating heart,
Dread not thy birth,
Nor fear the earth —
The Infinite thou art.
The sun doth shine
The earth doth spin,
For welcome–enter in
This green and daisied sphere.
Rejoice–and have no fear.

-Richard LeGallienne

beautiful words

I read this poem in my Mother’s Nature book, which I am enjoying more and more, and suggest you pick up for yourself if you also enjoy reading quotes, poems, and other inspirations from mothers and those writing about motherhood. The author is Andrea Alban Gosline, and I hope she doesn’t mind me quoting her here. (Andrea, if by some small chance you ever happen to read this and would like me to remove this, please just let me know and I’m happy to respect your wishes.)

Andrea is an author of inspirational parenting books as well as children’s books. You can read about her and her published works here. Unfortunately I can’t get her spacing and indention exactly right on this blogging platform, but I think the intention of the words is still carried out despite a slightly different form. Andrea writes:

Child’s call, fresh as sunrise,
deep as velvet dusk,
rings wild on wind’s chime.
Ten toes dig down
roots in red earth.
Bloom inside, fragile one.

I will not sleep
in this time of ten moons.
Touch me, I am native drum,
rhapsody in hollow cave

To child’s pace I slow
and build the feathered nest.
Skin pulls taut over soft, flat plains.
Steady trumpet vine,
I pose for the sun.
My dance is ripe,
your mystery fills the passage.

Exploring corners in my home,
I hear ancestral hum.
Between the wooden walls,
the web of life is spun.

Welcome to my feast.
I hold my family’s heart in mine
and toast the weaving of our souls.

Thank you, Andrea, for your beautiful words. I only hope I too can share this magical experience of pregnancy and motherhood, and write about it in a way half as beautiful as yours. Readers: is there a piece of writing that has struck you or inspired you during your journey into motherhood? If so, I’d love if you’d share!

those objects she became

Look at Whitman go.

There was a child went
forth every day,
And the first object he
looked upon, that object
he became,
And that object became
part of him for the day
or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or
stretching cycles of years.
The early lilacs became
part of this child,
And grass and white
and red morning glories,
and white and red
clover; and
the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the third-month
lambs and sow’s
pink-faint litter, and
the mare’s
foal, and the cow’s calf.

-Walt Whitman

I’m a Whitman fan anyway, and when I read the imagery in the piece above I instantly fell in love with it. The imagery was just so…visceral, tactile. I love that kind of writing! Reading this prompted me to wonder what objects I became — for a day or for a season — after encountering them in my youth. I reflected, pondering on my childhood and deciding this:

The draped honeysuckle
became part of me,
And violet dew-dropped
morning glories and
baby starlings
rescued from the flue;
And earthworms plucked
from drying walks,
and bare feet on
thick green grass
and hot Georgia
pavement; and rough bark
of climbed trees
and fences.

What objects did you become, or what objects do you think or hope your child has or will become? I would love to hear, even if it’s in sentence form!

combating destructive forces with the most ecstatic form of creation there is

One of the books I bought when hubby and I decided back at the end of February to begin this journey of conception is called Mother’s Nature, Timeless Wisdom for the Journey into Motherhood. Each page in the 200-and-something-page book highlights a different theme, with quotes, short readings, and suggestions for contemplations and activities to pursue during pregnancy. Some of the succinct and gently thought-provoking pages’ titles include, “I expect,” “I am the web,” “I am serene,” and “I hear.” These are only a few of many. Over the last several weeks I have enjoyed reading the first dozen or so pages.

One selection that caught my eye is from the page entitled, “I create.” The page includes an excerpt from a letter written during World War II on May 4, 1941 by Jessie Barnard to her unborn child. Jessie writes:

My dearest,

Eleven weeks from today you will be ready for this outside world. And what a world it is this year! It has been the most beautiful spring I have ever seen. Miss Morris (a faculty colleague) says it is because I have you to look forward to. She says she has noticed a creative look on my face in my appreciation of this spring. And she is right.

But also the world itself has been so particularly sweet, aglow with color. The forsythia were yellower and fuller than any I have ever seen. The lilacs were fragrant and feathery…Nature is outdoing herself to prepare this earth for you. But also I want to let all this beauty get into my body.

I cannot help but think of that other world. The world of Europe where babies are born to hunger, stunted growth, breasts dried up with anxiety and fatigue. That is part of the picture too. And I sometimes think that while my body in this idyllic spring creates a miracle, forces are at work which within twenty or twenty-five years may be preparing to destroy the creation of my body. My own sweet, the war takes on a terrible new significance when I think of that…

Your father  thinks parents ought to get down on their knees and beg forgiveness of children for bringing them into such a world. And there is much truth in that. But I hope you will never feel like that. I hope you will never regret the life we have created for you out of our seed.

To me the only answer a woman can make to the destructive forces of the world is creation. And the most ecstatic form of creation is the creation of new life.

I have found myself, even though I haven’t yet conceived, already noticing the world more acutely in these last several months. Grass seems greener, flowers sweeter, and the air more ripe with magical potential. The world feels alive with kinetic energy and movement, and I feel a renewed sense of childlike wonder and joy. Yet at the same time I have reflected more on the pain inherent in the world, and like Jessie I have wondered whether the world will be a dangerous or even deadly place for our future child in, say, twenty or thirty years — or even sooner.

But who knows, really? And while Jessie’s letter echoes some of the sentiments I feel are still relevant about the world today, I do not agree with all of her statements. I disagree, for example, that parents should beg forgiveness of children for bringing them into the world as it is. Begging forgiveness implies that life in this world may not be worth living, and for all the hate, pain, and suffering there is in the world, I believe there is infinitely more goodness and kindness.

I also would prefer the word “person” or phrase “man and woman” used in place of woman in this sentence: “To me the only answer a woman can make to the destructive forces of the world is creation.” Semantics aside, I like this idea, one that states that while we live in a world that can be volatile and cruel, we can focus on changing the things within our own sphere of influence — and the most miraculous thing we can create within our sphere of influence is another life, one that is taught to love, nurture, and care for others. We can fight destructive forces gently by creating a force for good. And then comes the most joyous phrase in this passage, in my opinion — that “the most ecstatic form of creation is the creation of new life.”

Ahh, yes, that’s why we’re doing this.

melodic monday, what?

So I was sitting at lunch today and realized I did exactly what I thought I might do last week: forgot to post some writing on Monday.

I’m sorry. But ah well, I suppose I will just start writing when I can and when inspiration truly hits me instead of on a regular day every week.

I’ve also been quieter than normal this week too, and I am sorry for that. Work has been wildly busy. We are talking about hiring a third person for our two-man marketing group, which would be amazing, because I am about completely zombified by the time I get home every day lately. This evening I just laid silently on the bed with hubby for about 20 minutes…a big change from my usual constant blabber and energy from the time I walk in the door.

I hope you are all having a good week and are retaining many more brain cells than I am lately. Talk to you more soon.


melodic monday, there you are

You know when you start a new habit, and it’s not really a habit yet so you run the distinct risk of forgetting to repeat it? That’s what I almost did today on our second Melodic Monday. But then I was cooking dinner and I remembered I owe you some creative writing, and now I can’t turn away from you guys or put it off. So…I will quickly slide in here that I am much less comfortable with poetry than short stories, but feel that for now poetry is a better format here, so…forgive my lack of poetic know-how and all that. Anyway, all nerves aside…. [clears throat]

will you be? (ruminations on baby)

will you be a rhythm soft,
branches tap tapping
on glass during sleep,
or primal, heavy feet
resonating a warrior’s
thudding beat  in dusty
Earth –

will you be a battle cry
whooping bravely
over treetops during war,
or quiet and meek,
warbling an ancient’s
haunting cry across blue
Air –

will you be a flute’s dance
lilting softly up
across heavens during peace,
or booming drums
beating a waterfall’s
crashing weight into foamy
Water –

will you be a shout joyous
bellowed to the sun
atop a grassy peak,
or a serene whisper
released to the sky,
echoing bliss to the heavens’