Currently Browsing: To Grow or Not to Grow
May 5, 2013
We celebrated Fiona’s miraculous presence in our lives with a meet the baby party yesterday. She’s two months old. I had written a poem in honor of what it is she gifts the world and those who come in contact with her supreme cuteness and innocence. It’s called Hope.
I could be dulled
By my daily routine.
In the trenches
Left boob, right boob,
Change poopy, cat nap,
Rinse and repeat.
I forget about our need
Until I look into your eyes.
The most important need.
The one babies fulfill.
In every face that looks upon our
Baby daughter Fiona,
Even crazy people’s faces,
I see Hope dawn. Hope ignite.
A chance for future hope and
more life to enjoy.
Your welcome and thank you.
Apr 30, 2013
I try hard to not care what you think, really I do.
But there’s an underlying understanding that I need your approval. I need to be thin enough for you. Or pretty enough. Or smart enough. And you are everyone and you are everywhere. Even when I’m alone, you are still there looking through my eyes.
I want you to think I’m a really good mother. While today I might doubt I’m very good. My humanity, vulnerability, self-doubt, and need to get it right makes me easy prey for your thoughts that I am sure I can read.
How doubly heinous the world expects anything from you when you are pregnant. Like how many pounds are acceptable for you to gain during your pregnancy. The rule book ceased to apply because my body decided that in case of the plague, flood, or famine, I needed a belly fat pad the size of Norway.
When people were rude enough to point out my enormous gift of girth for my child, I proclaimed I was building a lounge for my baby. And tried to ignore their insensitivity. Now Fiona’s left the building and the lounge is still standing.
The entire time I was pregnant, I did not know how much I weighed. I just put my back to the scale and thankfully the nurses kept my secret.
I’m an approval seeker in varying degrees. I need you to like my writing enough to keep reading it. And I need friends to want to have lunch with me and to have me listen to their lives. I’d also tell them that my opinion of them didn’t matter. What they think of themselves is the most important thought out there.
If we are dependent on the opinions of others for our happiness, we are prisoners of perceptions. Their perception and your perception and her perception of us. And we have forgotten or never knew we hold the key to freedom from this bondage. By the mere admission that we can not read or control the minds of others.
My opinion of me is the only one that matters. Your reassurances are however kind. I will be out strolling when the weather breaks. Say hey to me. And try not to look at my barf stained clothing. I’m not.
Apr 26, 2013
I recently had to explain to my seven year-old why I was shooing the kitty away from the house and away from the girl kitty who was acting kinda funny. We were having a birds, the bees, and kitties talk in which we discussed how boy kitties have spikes on the end of their winkles to ensure their parenthood possibilities.
My poor son will never be able to shake the images of that conversation. Good. He did understand there’s a biological imperative for species survival. They don’t even realize they are programmed to continue their existence. People too. And our job is to ruin their job when propagation is a bad thing.
If left up to their funny business, this is how cats would multiply and procreate. One mommy kitty can have three kittens three times a year. So she can potentially spawn 9 kittens per year. Second year and you multiply those 9 kitties by three and three again and now you have 81 kittens. And by the third year, 775 cats in your backyard howling and spraying.
So we treated our girl kitty to a cab ride to the clinic and unkittened her. Because I feel that if you’re going to feed them, then you need to make sure there will be no other mouths to feed later.
We’re just lucky enough to have an old country vet down the road who’ll take their crazy furry butts out of the trap and fix ‘em up. My husband and I live near a river and this is a highway for all animals. We have taken care of at least 50 cats in one way or another in the past 12 years. And, although it’s been heart wrenching at times, it’s also the least we can do.
One week ago, we lost our Butthead to a surprise case of cancer. And although we got him from the streets of Denton, actually in a parking lot, that is no place for kittens. So please do an extra good responsible action toward an animal and spay or neuter or call the local authorities to humanely and compassionately end or deter future suffering of any animals. Our bigger brains suggest we are smarter. Right practices of any sort are a choice.
Apr 1, 2013
My intention was to rid myself of all the to-do’s befuddling my mind before I had this baby. I wrote this post about the baby to do list. Not the avoidance of the to-do list that I spoke of here.
But there was more going on behind the scenes than gathering baby supplies and completing house projects. I had committed to completing much more. More than I realized. The truth is mine to tell but maybe I didn’t want to tell it to myself.
I’m a multifaceted girl. Not only do I have a blog, I have a big nasty house to clean and keep, animals and extended family that need care, and two men to take care of. Plus a baby. There’s laundry and cooking and I don’t think I accurately conceive of how much I intend to accomplish on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.
A few items I had wanted to complete before the baby was born, and may still be in the process of doing so:
Redecorate Eamon’s room
Plan Eamon’s 8th birthday party
Clean out garden beds
Take back Marks’ suitcase with wonky wheel
Design logo for the Culinary School for which I am on the board
Redesign husband’s website
Catch and spay stray cat in the backyard
And then remember, there’s still those tasks taken for granted. Like writing thank you notes, balancing the checkbook, watering the plants, changing the cat box, and changing the sheets on the bed. These tasks are a part of maintaining the life to which I’ve become accustomed. Can’t not do them.
I think that our unspoken unaccounted for to do lists can be a form of self sabotage. Our brains fill with purpose and promise of the power of accomplishment. But unlisted and unchecked and continually added to, our to do lists become monstrous brain tape worms.
And I suspect there is more of this going on than we realize. Feeding our anxieties and fueling our compulsions, we relive a low-grade post traumatic stress disorder kinda life. Never enough done and never enough food or alcohol or whatever to quell the voices that say we’ve not done enough or enough right.
My new MO is to attempt to write my thoughts and list them. And thus I can walk away for days. And not to add too many things back on the list that I can’t enjoy its clearing.
I am impressed with myself these days. Anything beyond the baby is a bonus. And I did get the new suitcase, design a kickin’ graphic, and redecorate that room. Call it will power, resolve, or stubbornness. But I’m taking names. Next.
Mar 28, 2013
This is a journal entry from the darkness of night, 3/16. Not watching any TV means I am writing more. And doing so very honestly. I couldn’t help but want to hear General Public’s Anxious.
“I told myself I was much less anxious than before. But I had to admit today, I am still a little more than a little anxious. Chewing my lip until it’s raw. My nervous tell. The pediatrician reassuring me even though I didn’t ask her to. Irksome. No schedule so no expectations allowed. Except expectations want to sneak in and crash the party. Revelations try to overcome the sneak attacks. Rolling around in my head. Trying to do it right. Fearful that the next thing I eat or do or don’t do will cause me to get less sleep.
And then worrying about what to write. Don’t want to go on and on about baby stuff. More pictures and decorating and random thoughts and recipes. Something other. Not wanting the baby to take over when she already has.”
The next week, I pondered this anxiety and decided, all there was left to do is admit that I’m not in control. At all. And try to do my best and let go of the rest is the only plan that works. And to remember that this is a wonderful life I’m living and this sleep deprivation will pass. Fill that in with whatever misery is currently befalling you. And there will be a next. Day, month year, and this will all be a distant memory you will wish you were still living.
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