These Are Our Days

My days always start in the same way: one child pulling my breasts out of my shirt while I'm half-asleep while the other comes running into the bedroom heavy-footed while pulling my eyelids open, proclaiming loudly in my ear, "Mama, my tummy hurts."

"Your tummy doesn't hurt, love... you're just hungry," I insist, still rubbing the sleep from my eyes.

She corrects herself, "I'm hungry," and continues. "Mama, I love you."

"I love you too, baby," I say.

We all crawl out of bed as I make breakfast for the three of us. Most of it ends up on the floor and I feel like I'm constantly making things just to clean them up.

The days are long.

I've been staying home more lately as the weather has started to turn cool. I know eventually I'll get back out there. I'll start meeting up with friends again. We'll start getting out for playdates and adventures. But right now, I'm okay with staying in. I will work on my writing every once and a while. Do you know how hard it is to write when you can't hear yourself think?

So hard.

Quiet is an incredibly rare thing to find, as is uninterrupted time alone, but every now and then I can find myself sneaking in moments here and there. Tiny little accomplishments.

I'll look over from my desk and see them playing together, learning together. 

A rare moment of sharing and I'm proud.

These are our days right now, and this is our normal.

Dinner will-- usually, hopefully-- be simmering away on the stovetop, and after what seems like an eternity, I'll hear the most magical sound in the world: the clank-clank-clanking of the hand-painted family sign I have hung onto the front door; the sound that can be only heard as the door is opened. Papa is home!

The girls stop in their tracks and start screaming in joy, seeing who can run over to him the fastest for a GIANT Papa Bear hug. Erick wraps his arms around us all and the cycle of another day, in my mind, has come to a close. I notice myself slowly melting into a giant puddle, everything washing over me as I gently shut my eyes; the emptiness felt from hours of doubt or frustration is replaced with a deep and loving security. The pieces of my soul that feel flawed and missing are in a moment replete and brimming in wholeness.

Together.

Everything is right.
Everyone is safe.
Everyone is happy.

Little People

As I'm in the process of cleaning and sorting and de-cluttering, I'm also taking photos of the art we've made and silly monsters and people Sofia has drawn. Computer paper is messy and strewn about everywhere in our home, and although I've saved many of these drawings, I can't save them all. Taking photos of some of the crinkled ones help make sure I have digital memories of all of these crazy little people. I've seen the progression from just circles and scribbles to circles with eyes, then circles with eyes and noses, and now circles with eyes and noses and hair and squiggly arms and mouths. It's absolutely incredible.

The Journey

The coming of this full moon has shone its light on the dark parts of myself that haven't seen the day. It's cracked me wide open and I've felt with a deep and tremendous aching. I've sobbed and let myself fall open. I've let the air in; opened my windows and let the moonlit energy shine through. I've filled garbage bags with clothes and toys and miscellany to be donated and cleared away. I've fallen asleep early with my clothes still on, and have stayed up well past my bedtime. It's been a hodge-podge of a summer and I'm happy to welcome the coming cooler months. We are clearing our clutter here, physically and emotionally. I've been relying on good reading and poetry for inspiration:

.....

The Journey Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.

All In The Family

"Sooner or later, we all quote our mothers" Bern Williams

.....

The other day, I received a text message from my mom with a photo in it. I saw myself, comfortably cool in my basketball shirt and sweatpants, arms around my sister and my mother as she carried my youngest sister in some kind of Baby Bjorn contraption. I about died. Little pieces of my history keep popping up in the most spectacular of ways and I realize just how much I am my mother's daughter. 

She sent this photo with the accompanying text:

"See, I babywear, too!"

And in that instant all of the disagreements and fights and growing pains I've had over the year with my mother seemed so irrelevant. We are so alike in many ways, and I know as much as my crazy bed-sharing, toddler breastfeeding, baby-led-weaning, natural remedy, organic food and new-age attachment beliefs might drive her up a wall sometimes, she is always there trying to understand and always supporting me -- even if it means she doesn't necessarily agree.

Every day I find myself blurting something out of my mouth that stops me dead in my tracks.

I sound just like my mother.

And then I'll smile. So many things are beginning to make sense after all these years and after growing into my own skin as a mother. It's like de-ja-vú and I'm transported to my adolescent years (gosh, I am SO sorry mom!) and it's like God is having a good chuckle up there watching me time and again fumbling around as a parent and thinking, "damnit. my mom was right."

I told ya so, he'd say.