Monday, May 31, 2010

I Am Tired

Let me first say: This is not my most positive of posts.
My apologies in advance.

I am tired.
In my body and in my brain.

Let's talk "body" first, shall we?

Weight-lifting routine?
Are ya kiddin' me?
Who needs circuit training when I have Matthew?
At times, I seriously think my arms are going to fall off.
An overused expression but especially appropriate.
Especially on the weekends.
Especially on LONG weekends.

Don't get me wrong:
I am thankful for every single one of those near-30 pounds of kid.
I am thankful for every minute of these past 5.5 months (yes, we're almost at the 6-month mark: Can ya believe it?).
But even a thankful mom can complain once in a while, right?

My mother-in-law is quite impressed with my ability (and seeming ease--if only she knew)
to transition from holding Matthew while sitting cross-legged on the floor
to rising to a complete standing position (all the time with him in my arms).
Biceps of steel, baby. Quads of iron. Low back like a band of concrete.
Rise, Phoenix, Rise.
Ashes be damned.
I pop up like I have all the energy in the world.
But dammit, there is FIRE brewing in these muscles,
and I am so, so tired.

And now, let's talk "brain."

Constant worries.
About everything.
From innocuous things like
When am I EVER going to have time to get this house organized? Piles of paperwork are now appearing in my freaking DREAMS.
to large-scale, hovering, looming issues like
We REALLY need to send that adoption finalization paperwork in (if we could only find the time to fill it out).

What is helping:
--Meditation (like my hour-long sit tonight; pure bliss)
--Spa weekend (right around the corner, with my best girl friends in the universe--and a whole weekend to remind me that I am allowed to indulge in some self-care)
--SLEEP (coming in about 5 minutes)

I know all moms go through this,
and please don't think I'm not grateful for every single minute
I get to spend with my son.

But dammit, I am tired.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Moments That Make Up a Life

I am unsure of so many things.
But the one thing that draws no doubt,
harbors no uncertainty
is the love that I have for the life that is unquestionably
and deservedly

A life made up of moments:
Matthew throwing the tennis ball for Jupiter to chase after.
Jeff crawling into Matthew's inflatable submarine filled with hundreds of small multicolored plastic balls, head sticking out of the top, trying to coax Matthew inside.
My baby's belly laughs that live in my heart long after the final giggle ceases, long after that last exhale.
Well-deserved date nights with the love of my life (occasional reminders that we can be grown-ups every once in a while, too).
Road trips to PA, and the chaos of all the cousins playing together--laughing, arguing, crying, and laughing again.
Playing peek-a-boo with Grandpa, putting his pudgy little hands on Grandpa's big ones, and pulling his hands off his face, then putting them back on his face.
Going for long stroller walks with Grandma to meet all of her friends--and coming home with even more Matchbox cars.
Reaching for his crib, happy for night-night to finally arrive, plopping his face down on beloved Froggy, and sleeping the deep, happy sleep of a kid who is finally, happily, home.
While he dreams, I watch him--
my own dream, here in my heart and in my home at last.

These moments?
They are my life.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Proudly I Rise

My world has been filled with so many Mother's Days,
when I have joined with others
in honoring and celebrating the women in my life
who are such extraordinary mothers.
Most especially,
my own mom.
But also, my grandmothers, sister, sister-in-law,
and on goes the list.

For years, I was among the celebrators.
But this year, for the first time, I will be among the celebrated.

The year after we lost our baby to miscarriage, we joined a church,
and I started singing in the folk choir.
It was the Sunday of Mother's Day, and at one point, the priest asked all the moms to rise and be acknowledged.

I didn't know what to do.
(Of course I was a mom, technically.
I had given birth, after all.)
But I wasn't presently parenting a child.
I was absolutely frozen.
So I balked.
And didn't stand.

My friend and fellow singer nudged me and whispered, "Kathleen, stand up!"
And I whispered back, "But I'm not a mom."
(Oh, God, did I just say that out loud? That hurts way more than I thought it would.)
"Oh, you don't have children? I thought you did!?!" she replied.
I just shook my head and looked away.

And then the guilt set in.
Should I have stood up?
Hell, yes. But it's complicated.
I should have honored my baby's memory by proudly rising
and acknowledging that he had existed.
But I wasn't presently parenting, I argued with myself.
I may have felt the pains of labor
but I had never felt its warm, wiggling rewards.
It was so confusing and infuriating, and it hurt.
A lot.

I went home and cried.
And went out of my way to avoid the Mother's Day mass for the next several years.

With the exception of the past few rocky years,
I have celebrated on Mother's Day.
But never have I been one of the celebrated.
This year, it's different.
This year, Mother's Day takes on a profoundly new meaning to me.
I have been humbled by its blessings
and by mothering my Matthew.
This year, I will be in Pennsylvania visiting my family.
I will go to church with my mom.
And when the priest asks the mothers to rise,
Proudly I will.
For not one, but two, reasons.

Happy Mother's Day to every one of you fabulous, sexy, crazy, lovestruck moms.
I may be coming into this a little late, but I have learned from so many of you, and your paved path has made mine all the easier. You are my giants, my mentors, my mothers, my friends.