Today I went on a wild and crazy adventure to Starbucks down the street. On the drive there, I blasted the Chainsmokers’ new song and I rolled the windows down and I savored the opportunity to be in the car and not at my command post (a.k.a the rocking chair) for a bit. This was only the second time I’ve left the house since you arrived, and I lasted about thirty minutes before I started missing you terribly.
Before I began missing you terribly, I got my writing routine started per usual: by watching a Beyonce video. Her stuff really gets me going, makes me feel like my little thoughts and words hold more power than I think, and that I, as a woman and mother, hold more power than I think.
Then I began tapping away at my keyboard, on deadline for a writing assignment about Pound for Pound, but only wanting to write about you, Noah. You and all that you are teaching me. So here we go:
Earlier today, we tried the Baby Bjorn carrier for the first time and you slipped in there perfectly like a little joey. You loved the carrier so long as I kept moving, but the instant I stopped, you started to cry. And that crying always reminds me that you are quite aware of your needs and you’re not afraid to ask that they are met.
You don’t worry that you are burdening someone. You don’t worry about what people think. And you definitely don’t worry about wearing your productivity and success like some badge of honor. Your mind hasn’t become crowded with words and labels and expectations yet, so there is just this simple, beautiful, organic language of the body—guiding your every move. You cry when you are hungry or tired or uncomfortable or simply bored with standing still. You cry to tell me that movement feels good to you, and to keep it going. And while sometimes your cries drive me a little nuts, for the most part, they remind me how intimately close you are to your true, authentic self.
Sweet son, I have a lot to learn from you. Honoring my self and the needs of my body and soul has been an ongoing struggle. It was before you arrived in this world, when I’d put work or writing before everything else. When I’d refuse to say that golden word, “No,” because I feared disappointing or letting people down. When my awareness became occupied by screens, by a perpetual quest to get somewhere, by a mind that wouldn’t stop thinking and comparing, by a hamster wheel of doing —and I’d let my soul cries (to get outside, to read poetry, to have a cup of tea, to slow down) go unheard.
I was working on all of that before you arrived, Noah, and I still am. But now, this inner-work seems more important than ever before. Because I don’t want you to grow up with a SuperMom, but with a mom who can embrace stillness and leave things undone. I want you to know your mother as someone who knows how to ask for help and does so often. I want you to know your mother as someone who can love and honor her own needs, while at the same time, loving and taking care of the needs of others.
And I want you to know your mother for who I am right now…taking one hour for myself and my writer’s heart at Starbucks, even though back at home, the dog is walking around with dried-up breastmilk on her back and desperately needs a bath. Even though the wash isn’t done and the diapers are running out and the bed hasn’t been made in a few days. Today, Noah, I’m proud that I was able to stop in the midst of a whirlwind to-do list, and ask for some help (thank you husband and Lola!), and do the very thing my soul craved, which was apparently to listen to music and eat a banana nut muffin and write about you.
Now it’s time to go home and hold my sweet baby in my arms. And then, my other sweet baby, the one with fur, will finally be getting a bath!
Your Very Lucky and Grateful Mama
P.S. Friends, please share! I’m loving connecting with other mamas about their experiences!