Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

is there room for me...?

In my family, I am realizing, it is The Question.
At 6 weeks old, Rhys is asking constantly, "Is there room for me?" As in, "Will you wake up and feed me? Will you realize that my skin is cold in the wind? Will you stop what you are doing to rub my tummy and help the gas move?" Of course we are all following our natural instincts to meet his needs, even Papa and 5-year-old sister Grace.
Grace asks in classic displaced-older-child style, "Is there still room for me? When are my needs the top priority? Will you put the baby down and kiss my scraped knee? Will you feed me my tricky salad with your left hand while you nurse my brother? Will Papa like my brother more than me?"
Papa finds us in bed late at night, Mama and baby in nursing position, and big sister sprawled sideways. He asks as he rubs tired eyes, "Is there room for me?"
The question I am asking is about the inner Me, the woman I have found and lost again and found and then become a distant acquaintance of. Is there room for Me?
As I walked the stroller up the hills tonight I watched people in their homes, reading, laughing, a couple sitting on their deck in the dusk light. I wonder if they, in their own ways, ask the same question. Because it is about attention to one's true and honest self and validation from those we love.
I am challenged now as a mom of two, mama to a babe again, to make the room for myself. It means waking earlier, sacrificing already sparse hours of deep sleep to get a cup of uninterrupted coffee. It means self-forgiveness and self-love. If I love this body, overweight and marked and scarred by babies...if I forgive myself for snapping at my oldest daughter or blaming my husband for, well, everything...if I truly see myself in that space, I am in effect making room for the woman in the mirror. Making room for the truth of the matter. Which is that I am an excellent mother who sometimes yells, a loving wife who often forgets her husband is not one of the kids, and I am doing the best I can in each moment.
If there is room for us, we feel validated. However, as we grow up, we must make the room ourselves. If we are stuck standing at the end of the bed, waiting for someone to make room for us, we may just be there still at dawn. We must climb in, move a limb or two, share a pillow. But it sure feels good when those same limbs wrap around us and welcome us home to the family.

Monday, June 21, 2010

tears for father's day

I stood in the greeting card aisle at Albertson's early on Sunday morning, tears streaming down my yet unwashed face. Grace and I had left the boys sleeping in bed and jetted across town to pick up breakfast foods and pictures I had printed at Rite Aid. It seemed that this Father's Day hit with more significance than year's past.
Maybe it is because last year we were separated, and this year we are so very together, all of us.
Maybe because Grace was so excited, at the other end of the aisle, that they had water balloons and "can we please, please, please get them for Papa for Father's Day?"
Maybe because of how very deeply I feel now that our family is complete, that Rhys' birth last month really cemented our family as a family.
Those tears felt good. They felt like a surrendering relief, as I recognized how far we have come and how much we have grown. Ahh. We are here. We grew up a little. We are where we said we wanted to go.
I thank you. Your commitment to me and us and these beautiful kids is delicious. You are a poem. You are my poem. I love you.
Happy Father's Day to the best father of all.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

may the hiatus cease...

I thought, in 2008, that this blog would be a place for me to log our adventures, my thoughts, and also the challenges of being a mom and a woman. I lost track of it somewhere along the way...hmmmm...among the burned toast and late dinners and choosing of preschools...
I hope I am back. I hope I can use this to keep connected - to myself, to the journey, to my family and friends.
Here goes...