Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Second Year Mother

In the picture above these words I am exhausted. Can you tell?
I am exhausted because I stayed up until 1:30 in the morning firing the most exquisite butterfly wings I had ever conceived I could fire.

Tropical, magical, lifelike

They are destined for my work, destined to shine.

I am exhausted because I made cupcakes for a beautiful baby shower, using butter and sugar and love to help welcome two new twin souls into all of our lives.
The woman who has carried them reminds me of Mother Mary.
She is luminous and kind and her shower was a small and heartfelt affair under redwood shade.

I am tired because life has been full of wonder and hard work.
I am weary with an easy heart.
The night is a welcome thing; my baby sleeps and so do I.

Last year's tired was something else entirely, something overwhelming.
That soul-emptying fatigue of early infant milk hunger:
life was a clock.
That fear of anything befalling such a tiny being whose neck could not yet support a still-moving skull and the wee brain inside.
How I dreaded the sunset,
how excited and sad I was, all at once.
My husband reached out last year to make this day beautiful and we were surrounded by love but
my very cells suffered under the weight of post-partum depression. 

To reflect on the year in between these two very different Mother's Days is to witness a very slow miracle, the healing kind.

One mother was aching and in love, unable to express the weight of responsibility or navigate this new normal landscape, the other mother feels the ground underneath her feet and trusts her heart,
knows her mind. Has learned her new mind.

Just like the post-baby ribcage, pushed out like a bell at the bottom edges this year's mother is new.
Strange and soft.
There is no erasing the worry wrinkles, the widened midsection 
or the unrecognizable breasts.

This year's mother does not mind the newer body because it cradled and nourished her own second heart, a Herculian feat. Could anything ever snap back from such an epic journey without some give? Last year's mama prayed to leap back to her former glory or shrink back to the before picture. The success stories the internet and magazines tout would come to pass!! Thirty pounds in six weeks! Better Body After Baby! Faster Newer Now Hey! 

This year the order of physical health is life-affirming exercise (oh sweet holy sweat!!!) and good whole foods, acceptance of the changes that never came to pass, celebrating the spectacular ones that did: the return of the six-pack, high-school-cheerleader legs, the fucking radness of the biceps I am rocking.
They are so powerful!!!

They lift a twenty five pound boy with ease! They wield fire and hammer metals!

More wisdom, a bit of a stretched out trunk. Some back fat. I'll take it, all of it.
I have my boy. My world sings.

I know with each passing mid-May celebration the story will change.
I know this.
There will be years of plenty and joy, years of loss and recovery

full of the mundane and the glorious

birthdays funerals graduations showers sunsets coffees and a growing boy to show for it.
A human becoming himself under our steady care and love.

If I have anything to teach him of what I've learned since he's been born
I'd settle on 'patience' as the word for this day.

Have you lost your way?
Have you faltered on your path, been left behind?
Does the moment look bleak or hopeless?

Wait, I'll say.


Next year's song will be a radical departure -
embrace it when it comes, but appreciate the tempo and timbre of this time...

it is the doorway to everything.



pencilfox said...

i like that.


Allisunny S. said...

Dear Marie,
I am finding the best and most graceful things in life do just that. Wait.

When something hurts or goes wrong of late instead of rushing to action I just gently advise myself with a ton of love, - "wait".

And so I do, and by the power of everything most situations resolve themselves without my help. Imagine that :)

Love to you,

Tasha Imajin said...

This is beautiful and it made me cry. And how I KNOW what you mean. Oh, I know. You are so amazing.

Allisunny S. said...

Dearest Tasha, sister in baby-carrying and mama-dom: I so know you know :) You amaze me, too :) xoxoxox

thewindhover said...

This made me teary too... Your words are heart-renderingly humble, beautiful, raw. I am so glad you are a mama-voice in my life. Happy day to you and your kin!

Cat said...

this touched a place deep within....
my yesterday was not one of the best
and this morning I sit with grief and regret....
but I endure

love and light my beautiful friend

Cat said...

ps I just linked back to your post in my post this morning...hope that is ok
if not just let me know and I will remove the link♥

Allisunny S. said...


UmberDove said...

Oh A... This most the most beautiful, hopeful, raw thing I've read in a while. I love you so. And I can't wait to have those epic biceps wrapped around me!!!

Allisunny S. said...

Em: the happiest day to you, too, sweet mama. I adore you.

Cat: my iphone was not letting me reply: all I could get out was "Cat!!!!" ;) I am honored to be linked in your post and I love your honesty about the day. Sending light to your friends who are battling and sending light to your sons and adoring you. xoxoxo

Kelly-zon: I'm a gonna squeeze you!! :)

Desiree Sweet said...

There is nothing in the world like being a Mother. we learn all of our sacrifices are all worth every tear for our children. This was beautiful and so are you and your family.

Cat said...

thank you A
adoring you too

oyenohana said...

It is a doorway!! Oh yes, so true :) lovely post mama and so well said. Thank you for sharing. Mahalo ;)

Heidi said...

Beautiful words. And the perfect message for this time in my life... endure.