Thursday, October 30, 2008

fall, fall, fall

i hate not having the internet at home! it makes blogging difficult. i’d be posting every morning, noon and night if i could do it while sitting in our playroom with micah and rowan happily milling around, busying themselves with dolls and pretend food and puzzles. then I wouldn’t have to make each post so long!

we went to our la leche league toddler group yesterday and had so much fun, as usual. it was a gorgeous day, and everyone enjoyed the playground and pumpkin patch after the meeting. here are a few pictures i took of my kids and their friends playing among the pumpkins. good grief, i love autumn!

another favorite fall activity is feeding the ducks at a neighborhood creek.

i’ve noticed that when we spend time outside every day, i feel healthier. when we stay indoors all day, or even for two or three consecutive days, due to weather or sickness or no money to spend, i get headachey and irritable. sometimes it’s hard to get motivated to get out of the house, but we always have a better day when we do. and after the outward activity, we come back inward, back to home base for quiet play and rest. micah, my 3-and-a-half-year-old, is my little spirited introvert. i gleaned this terminology from mary sheedy kurcinka's book, raising your spirited child. it’s a must-read for any parent of a child who is more – more sensitive, more energetic, more perceptive than other kids seem to be. my daughter micah is spirited. she has a passionate, fierce little spirit that sometimes manifests itself in hour-long tantrums, gleeful defiance, and rude standoffishness. she enjoys being social and playing with her friends, but it’s very important that i give her time at home, in the quiet familiarity of our house, to recharge her batteries. otherwise, a meltdown is inevitable. at home, in between outward activities, i read books to her or i ask her to lie down on the couch and watch a short video. taking time to rest her body, even if she doesn’t fall asleep, makes a big difference for her. i like that she needs that time by herself and to rest, though. i believe that inward/outward rhythm is very important for children, and since i know the consequences for micah if i don’t adhere to that routine, it makes it easier for me to remember. i wonder how rowan’s personality will be…

i realized something about micah today. she demands the best of me as a parent. she won’t settle for distracted half-answers to her questions, or half-hearted pretending. if i’m playing with her, i’d better be all there, completely in the moment, or she’ll call me on it. it’s frustrating, sometimes. when i’m worried about something or have something on my mind and feel like being introspective, that’s when she relentlessly pulls me out of my own thoughts and makes me focus on her needs. it can make me feel on the verge of a nervous breakdown… but, at the same time, she reminds me of what’s truly important, and that is her needs, and rowan’s needs. i am first and foremost myself, and my self is a mother, their mother. the bills will go unpaid today whether i play with her with all of my heart or not. but if i don’t, i will miss this little snippet of time in her short childhood to get lost with her, in her imaginary world. and i can’t stand the thought of that.

tomorrow we’ll join our la leche league friends again at a park in east dallas. from there we’ll go home to rest and do some chores, then at nightfall we’ll trick-or-treat with my dad, stepmom & foster brother! What a fun day to look forward to!!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

rowan's birth day

he is sleeping

syrupy dishes in the sink say
daddy did what he had to to keep the peace today
the house feels strange
i don't care that the floor needs cleaning
or that toys are strewn about
the dog, the very walls seem concerned that
things aren't as they should be
my breasts are boulders full of milk, oh they hurt...
i am not in my head
nor am i in my body as i imagined, crushed
and weeping, shaking
i am moving, doing, talking, but barely thinking
my autopilot is on
mercy... mercy comes at me from the shadows
leaving a sigh and a sweet, familiar smell in her wake
mercy is a warm, soft hand in which my spirit curls up
and sleeps deeply
while the rest of me keeps moving, doing, talking
my heart is outside of my body
lying in a crate (as micah calls them)
tended to by strangers... but i love them
i want them to hold me
strangers in my territory
fluids coursing in through sterile plastic tubing
air pumped by a machine
made by a stranger in a foreign land
now working as my son's lungs
stretching, opening

the chair could be more comfortable
but i would sleep on a bed of nails to be near him

the sun streams through the weirdly tinted window
fast-food breaskfast turns and churns in my stomach
his eyes are open now
the machines are gone
the tubes are gone
it's just him, his skin
and my body aches for his
with the quaking limbs of a new mother in ecstasy
i sit with my arms outstretched
and from the joy and relief with which
i receive him at my breast
you would think we had been separated for a lifetime
but we were never apart
it was me in that crate

i love you, rowan. happy birth day, sweet son of mine.