Starting Here

Returning to this practice, this place of emptying, spilling my day onto the screen for others to view and me to remember. It is getting to the point in motherhood where my life before a child is fading and my present is expanding into a forever future of being a mom. To a baby now a toddler, to a teenager to a young adult...the cycle of life will play out before my eyes as my own life continues onward. It is absolutely gorgeous and stunning to witness the transformation of your child, while at the same time the expansion of your heart in a way that you never knew it could stretch. Such deep welling of emotion that shocks me at moments, regular moments, with its intensity. Sam is love, utter love.

I am such a different person than almost two years ago. Crazy to think that around this time in 2012 Jamie and I flippantly decided I should go off birth control and see what happens. Our life would begin to change only a couple of months later, although deep denial kept us holding on to our independent lifestyles for as long as possible. I wasn't as brave then. Although courage is something that will always be a continuous struggle, I recognize that with the emergence of Sam in my life I try a little bit harder to be the person I want to be. At the same time, to like the person that I am. I have written about this often, about how Sam has changed my life for the better, but I am amazed daily at the impact that his little but humongous being has on my life. Again, Sam is love.

He puts himself to bed now after nursing. Eager to get in his crib with his Norman and blankie, to see the soothing lights from his turtle nightlight. Talking and laughing himself to sleep, happy till the very end (most nights anyway). So many lessons from this little one....I love you Sam.

10.5 Months!

I write these things and then don't post them! See the below from a couple of weeks ago... How did this semi-toddler replace the little dark-haired, wobbly-headed infant who slept in my arms? Now Sam hugs me and squirms away to explore the world on his hands and knees, finding the dogs toys and the tiniest bits of fluff on the wood floor. His vocabulary grows, his ability to feed himself develops, and his crawl picks up speed daily. I cut his hair this morning, just the front pieces that hung in front of his eyes like an indie rocker, and instantly he looked months older. What a fun age this is, his curious eyes eagerly eating up everything around him, his adventuresome nature peppered with the desire to still be close to mom, dad or grandparent. His laughter, his frantic turning of book pages, his excitement with the shower and his blossoming love of avocados. The personality of my little son becomes stronger everyday. And clearer, as if more of the puzzle is fit together to form the whole picture...the puzzle that never ends until we leave this body. I love that he is his own little person, that he was created by Jamie and I, but that his soul is completely and utterly his own.

Limbo

The fog swirled around the valley, small pockets of blue sky offering some relief from the heavy clouds, as I made my way up and over the Pass. It felt like I was leaving a piece of myself behind, despite the feeling of utter freedom and the welcome silence of the car, the only sounds KHOL and the spinning of my tires against pavement. How did I get to this place? The mother-to-be who was so scared of sacrificing her alone time for a little one seems light years away from the mother who finds herself missing her child after half an hour. The conflicting feelings of wanting this opportunity to see my best friend without interruption, like the old days, and the desire to turn the car around and give little Sam one more hug. I have become someone that would be a stranger to my former self, who prided herself on her independence and relished in her ability to get up and go to NYC when she wanted to. I miss that woman somedays, other times I barely notice that she has taken a backseat. I think that this limbo between feeling nostalgic about the past and the inability to concentrate on anything but the present moment is territory that comes with being a mother. At least this mother. Some days I am on cloud nine with my life wrapped around Sam's, flowing with his needs, responsive to his requests. Others days (although they are frequent they are still well known guests) I think fondly of my former ability to do exactly what I wanted when I wanted.

It was wonderful to get away from Sam for a night and be with Claire. To fully dive into our friendship and relish in the deepness of our conversations and interactions. My full attention given to her. No interruptions. No crying. No jumping up to follow the now crawling baby around. To spend two hours in the Patagonia Outlet without fearing a meltdown and to stay up late drinking wine on the couch, not worrying about the alcohol effecting my milk supply or trying to get to bed in order to wake up with Sam at all hours of the night. I revived a piece of myself that had been dormant and that I realized is still hungry, hungry for the space to stretch herself and relax her body and be quiet. And that need is paramount to being a good mom because I missed Sam so much some moments that it hurt. Missed his little laugh and his concentrating face and his bravery as he conquers the great feat of crawling.

I have an amazing husband. Without a trace of doubt in his voice he offered for me to take the weekend away. He did the feedings (the stipulation was that I left him a good supply of milk), he put Sam to bed, he changed and clothed and cuddled with him. He sent me updates that put my heart at ease. Along with my parents, he made my adventure north possible and peaceful.

One thing I realized on the couch with Claire, is that Sam is not only my catalyst for taking more action in my life but my dedication to him, my full-time job of motherhood, has made me calm down with "finding my purpose in life". And with that lack of obsession hanging over my head I am now finally finding more purpose in my life, through Sam, with Sam. I am not dwelling so much in my head but listening more to my heart and just doing. Funny how life works....

Carving a Piece for Me

I got to a yoga class and out for a delicious run with Olive this weekend, making the space to be alone and to do activities that fuel my body and mind. It is such valuable and important time for Jamie and Sam too. I love coming home and finding them both laughing at one another or strolling around the house, the little prince kicking and squirming in Dad's arms. My time away from the house and from Sam feels so precious, and I struggle with the lack of independence that I once felt while at the same time relishing the moments that I get to spend in Sam's company. It is such a back and forth, a tug-of-war, this juxtaposition between me time and momhood. How they are both needed in order to strengthen the other. How there isn't one right way to be a mother, despite what society or the media tells you. There is only the right way for you. But figuring that out can be sort of tricky. How do I want to mother? How do I find some semblance of balance between breathing space and alone time and being a mom? How do you stop the little voices in your head that compare you to other mothers, worrying whether you have the right stuff or are doing the correct methods at the appropriate time, etc, etc, etc. The awful little voices that leave you with a turned stomach and a bad taste in your mouth. This is a constant wave that I am riding.

I am embarking on a project that will begin in the fall (more details to come as I get braver and more vocal about it) and already just the planning of it, the writing of a grant to see if I can acquire funding, feels heavenly. A surge of energy coursing through me, an inkling of a former self that feels creative, efficient, organized and brave. All clues that this is something I am supposed to do. And I think that having Sam in my life is making me take the leap and put myself out there. I really do. His smiling little face is so full of courage and complete vulnerability and his little being makes me want to be the best mama that I can. And that includes taking risks and maybe even failing.