Thursday, October 3, 2013

Not Perfect, But Right


(Painting by Xi Pan, photo borrowed from here.)


The thing that gets me most excited each day is knowing that we're one day closer to finding out the sex of our baby. For a long time, it felt like that wasn't enough to be excited for--that I'd turned into a lame mom without much going on other than what was going on with her kids. Shouldn't I be working on a novel or a painting or planning some exotic travels? I don't know whose voice was telling me those things, but I've finally answered back, "No." I am doing what I am meant to be doing right now. I am being a mother. Fully. And some days get long and boring. Some days are out of control. But there is no shame in putting all my focus into mothering. There is no shame in taking endless pictures of my daughter in this fleeting stage of her life. There's nothing wrong with writing about our days and the days I imagine with this new little person inside my belly. Because this is life. Life is not the thing that you think it's supposed to be. It is what it is. And what it is now, I know, is something I will miss later on and I will wish I had documented more clearly. Each time Emma's little two-year-old face looks at me and says something silly and toddler-ish, I just want to stop the world and record the moment to keep for always. Because this is the good stuff right here. This is joy-- the happy little life bounding around our apartment, her voice always filling the space with adorably mispronounced words.

I've wanted to come back here-- to blogging-- for a while now. When I left, I felt so vulnerable. I probably always will. That's what happens when you give your life story to the internet. You worry that there are jerks out there who will put you down. Or, worse, no one will read what you write. It's all very scary. It makes it hard to put up pictures of your precious child-- because what if a creep finds the pictures and prints them and hangs them in his basement...and I'll stop there. It makes it hard to reveal all the thoughts in your heart, because what if no one reads them or responds to them, and you're left feeling like maybe you're the only one who feels confused or frustrated or nervous about the things you do? And it's hard to admit when things are hard or to let out some swear words when you know your grandma might be reading, and you worry about destroying the "good girl" image you've held onto in your family. 

But I want to come back and try. 

I want a place to come to and remember that Emma has a book called "You Are My Sunshine" and she calls it "I Love You Sunshine". I want to remember how, when she wants to be read to, she says, "Momma, read to you." I want to remember that she gets mad when you start singing her favorite songs without her. That she already knows to eat the marshmallows out of Lucky Charms. That she likes to pretend to cook noodles in her play kitchen. That she wants to go buckle her carseat belts "by self". That she asks, "Play Momma hair?" and twists my hair in her hands as she falls asleep. That she wakes up each morning, with a bossy, "G'up! Snack!" (Meaning "Get up and feed me, woman!") 

And I want the people who want to know these things to know them, too. 

Here's the other thing. I want to be less sugar-coated. I want to talk about my fears and confusions. I want to say, "Hey, world, I'm freaking about about this. Have you freaked out, too? How did things turn out?" I want to talk about how scary it is to have a new baby on the way. How I worry that it will be a boy because I'll bawl my eyes out if I have to part with all of Emma's baby clothes. How I worry about the baby being sick or colicky and  how hard it will be and how it could suck the joy from our little family. How I already feel guilty that Emma won't have as much attention and fear that she could go from this cheerful, easy-going child to a sad and angry one. I worry that I will lose my patience, that it'll be too hard to get a newborn in a heavy car seat and a "I just want to run" toddler up and down the three flights of concrete stairs that lead to our apartment and we'll never leave the house, that sleep deprivation will kill me, that I'll get depressed, that I'll resent my babies.

Since Emma was born, I always thought that if Tony and I were to have another baby, I'd want to do it when Emma started school. That way I could have special time lavishing love on the new baby without Emma getting jealous and the baby and I could have a bond like Emma and I did- just the two of us, nursing for hours on end, doing little more than just staring at each other. I know this baby and I will have moments like that, but I worry it won't be enough. That I won't be enough of a mom to Emma anymore and that I won't get off to the right start with the new baby.

I don't always worry. Sometimes I'm just plain excited, too. I know how lucky I am to be having this baby and to be having such an easy pregnancy. I know this child was meant to be in our lives and that he or she will make me grow in ways that I need to. That he or she will bring us infinite happiness and teach us new things about love. I have to remind myself of those things on the nights when I'm sniffling into the covers as everyone else sleeps.

This is where we are these days. Me with my growing belly, Emma with her growing interest in books and learning the words to all the songs on Daniel Tiger by heart. Each day goes by slowly, but there are little moments-- completely fleeting-- in which everything is so right.

And this blog...well, it may not be perfect. But it, too, feels right. And so I'm back. We're back. Hello again, world.

2 comments:

  1. Love that you are back to blogging! I will definitely be reading it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you! I'm really happy to be back! I hope I can give you some good stuff to read! :)

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