Oh blog, we have grown apart… I think the time has come to part ways – to say thank you and goodbye.
I first sat down to write a blog entry (days after finding out what a blog was) when my first baby was about 5 months old. It was the perfect outlet for my compulsive sharing needs. Personal boundaries have always bored me and over-sharing is (usually) my preferred method of communication. Life is weird, and beautiful and terrifying and lonely and absurd – how HOW can we keep all that to ourselves?! I can’t. If you walk by me and casually ask how I’m doing, 8/10 times you are going to get the lengthy true answer. Why save that only for my closest friends? Sometimes an acquaintance is a close friend you just don’t know yet until you bond over the weird graphically homicidal dream you had the night before. Or not. It’s a really quick way to find out.
At the time I wrote my first entry I was treading the chaotic waters of deep love and sleep deprivation that had become my life since Ava Soleil’s birth. After relocating back to my hometown while pregnant and leaving behind a group of friends I adored and my body exploding with human, my life felt unrecognizable. With the birth of Ava Soleil my life exploded outward – all of my energy revolved around her care, around finding a community to nest our lives within, around trying to make her stop crying. And over the years extroversion became my coping mechanism, how I secured footholds in the unfamiliar terrain of my baby-fied life. It was fun, really fun. I found friends that were as transformed and horrified by the shockingly beautiful and often repulsive world that is motherhood. And then the very thing I most resisted began to happen, the me I knew before slowly evaporated. But that was surprisingly OK!! I embraced it and dove so hard into that phase of my life that I truly feel I squeezed every drop of joy out of it. I wrote about my girls and I photographed their every breath. I knew I could not afford to stay home with them forever, and not work part time forever either, but I was going to push the boundaries of what we could afford and live inside that rapidly disappearing chapter while we had it. And I am so thankful.
Six years later the reality of that first child is just starting to sink in. While I laboured her birth, I wondered, REALLY? Is there REALLY a baby? Is this baby REALLY going to live with us? All the time?! I sniffed her, I touched her perfect skin, and I held her endlessly and still I felt that surreal wondering – am I REALLY this lucky?
I feared the worst in every scenario, the million and one ways I could possibly lose her. The crushing thought of ever being without her, having more to lose than I dreamed. I will now forever live with a morbid Mother Brain.
And then I was lucky again to have another – all with her own story. A story I am not sure I could have processed without doing so here. A story that I still feel I am “coming down” from, though in more subtle ways now.
I have so much gratitude for those who read her story as it was unfolding and offered us their love, support and humbled us with their help. Thank you.
For months I have been growing accustomed to a new sensation. My life is slowly expanding, allowing more room for… me! I am reckoning with who I used to be, who I became for a while and who I continue to evolve into. This parenting gig – this wild privilege, this grueling, relentless task, this gorgeous gift doesn’t visit you without leaving some scars and some strange new growth. My task now is to arrange it all into a composition I can call my own, as it continues to shift, always in new directions.
I feel my babies growing swiftly. Where delightful rolls used to curl in my lap, now there are sharp knees and pointy elbows folding around my neck. I kiss at the full cheeks of my youngest, committing them to memory as they grow lean before my eyes. They are always taking bigger and bigger strides, with their lengthening feet further and further away from me. Always so intimately mine, but more so every day, growing into theirs. It is a strange grief, a muted colour edging the bolder colours of gratitude and hope I carry in every heartbeat for them. I look to the future with so much excitement for them – and for me. Just as they grow more into their own, I once again have the opportunity to do the same. It is different than the ever expanding opportunities I felt before their arrival, but I see possibilities…
I feel, at the root, the same as I did when I wrote my first post – deliciously in love with my life, and at the same time scrambling to adjust to the new kilter. Six years ago my toes were over the edge and I was just about to fully submerge into Motherhood, and for me, it was all consuming. I felt a distant sense of panic – knowing that she would do nothing but race toward her own independence, I feared I would lose all of mine… that I would be left clutching only a shred of autonomy when she finally packed her bags and moved out for good. It is a frightening feeling teetering at the edge, about to fall, into... what? But I am glad I surrendered and soaked it all up in my own way. And I am glad to be re-emerging.
But for now I am done writing about it – here in this space. I want to allow energy for playing with colours, translating the images I have collected in my mind into shapes on a page… and writing maybe about other things… I don’t know yet, I am playing with the possibilities that dot the horizon.
I want to mark this final post with a little snap shot of life today. A life I would never trade for anything, and know I will remember fondly – this precious time.
Each new day begins with a small person invading my exquisite sleep, always earlier than my optimistic alarm setting. After they have clamoured into the warmth of my corner of the bed with their cold feet and long limbs they decide to wake me up with their amazing morning thoughts. Before I have time to think my own, they are telling me theirs. Delivered via stage whisper – wetly and directly into my ear. Some mornings it is both of them and both ears are assaulted at once. But usually it is one followed several minutes by the other and I relish the few moments I have to snuggle and sniff them individually.
Here are some of the recent morning stage whisper wake ups:
Hello PERSONALITIES! GET IT?? You’re a person?! And you have a NALITY!!
You got a bum Mommy.
Why you sleepin?
I want some waisins.
You willy cozy.
What day is it? What day is it? What day is it?
Mmmmm, you’re warm as a summer day!
HOW MANY DAYS UNTIL MY BIRTHDAY? (asked the day after her birthday)
I GOT NO SOCKS ON!
Did you dwaw me a pictuwe pwesent Mama?
You rembew when I used to be a COW? But I sposed to be a dog? That was silly.
Wow! You are warm. You are as warm as Cuba!
Hey Mom! Mom! Mooooom! We both love you chother. WE LOVE YOU CHOTHER!
WHY YOU SLEEEEEEEPIN?
MY TOOTH IS WIGGLING! Seriously!! MY TOOTH! IT IS WIGGLING!
I love my Cwicky Boy! (Lucy loves our puppy Cricket more than anything on earth)
AWE YOU MY MOM? (She has asked me this a shocking number of times)
I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU!
You awe my mom.
Thank you blog. Goodbye.