"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.” ― poem by Mary Jean Irion I got the above from one of my favorite mommy blogs, A Cup of Jo. The poem was included as part of an illustrated book of mother advice, a gift from a friend at the bloggers baby shower for her second child. This poem resonates strongly right now as Sam is literally expanding, growing, exploding in front of our eyes. I have to remind myself to stop the day-to-day craziness and the looking towards the future and enjoy where he is now. Because it is precious and ridiculously cute. Each day there is something new: a ride in the Burley behind dad's bike, sitting at the table with us in his highchair, trying fresh peaches and sweet potato purees, sitting up and entertaining himself for long stretches, observing our every move and learning, listening, watching, breathing, tasting this big gigantic world. The preciousness of this little being only intensifies each day and his innocence expediently expands as he encounters what is new, fresh, brilliant. I grasp at the memories of bringing him home for the first time, so little and sleepy, of the multiple night feedings when the air felt thicker, more silent, more sacred. Like a budded flower, Sam has unwrapped himself to the outside world, revealing the layers of his personality and richness of his baby language. Coos, burps, baas, all inquiries. We practice saying mama, dada, doggie and Sam (focusing a great deal on the former) and he listens intently, taking it in, the knowledge literally being internalized before my eyes. Whether he can express it yet or not is not the point, rather that he is such a watcher, a sponge to our behaviors, words, states of being. A reminder to be as present to the person I strive to be as possible around Sam, a model of a life-lover.
I just finished folding his miniature swim trunks and shirt and putting them back in our swim bag, picturing his little body bobbing happily in the pool water, a huge smile across his face, his little eyes protected behind his funny sunglasses. We started swim lessons this week in a warm outdoor saline pool and it is an utter blast. We basically bob around the pool, Sam being the youngest one there, but these first introductory steps to water are paramount to developing a comfort in one of my favorite elements. Already, at six months, it is astounding how much can be communicated-kick, lie on your back, reach for the water toy, hold your breath. Move like you did in the womb (minus the plastic toy).
Gallim Dance, one of my favorite dance companies to visit Jackson, is here for three weeks conducting a residency, building a commissioned piece of work, and soaking in summer life in Jackson. They are a striking, brilliant and thought-provoking company led by young choreographer Andrea Miller who is blossoming with pregnancy currently. In conjunction with Gallim's visit, Dancers' Workshop is inviting visual artists and poets to come to the open rehearsals and produce work around what they witness. When Gallim returns to Jackson in February 2014 to perform the artwork and poetry will be exhibited and shared. A multi-disciplinary project of the sort that I love to sink my teeth in to. I plan to make visual work, I sat in on the poetry workshop and wrote a bit, and, if I could, I would jump up and dance along with this talented company. As I sat in the open rehearsal yesterday, solo, I could feel my creative juices flowing and flowering. I love those moments. I am realizing that they don't have to be separate from Sam, a world outside of motherhood that I explore, but rather a way of living that involves my whole being. The most creative act possible is being a mother. I will paint with him, I will write with him, I will dance with him. Just being with him and moving with his flow is a creative practice.
I have started my mornings, after Sam is deep into his first nap, with some silence and writing. I want to end my day with turning to this blog and emptying my thoughts. Honestly, eagerly, deeply. I want my posts to be light some days, more reflective others, moving to the tune of my inner world. I have been neglectful and hope to turn that around...starting now:)