Wednesday, May 20, 2015

“Probably there is nothing in human nature more resonant with charges than the flow of energy between two biologically alike bodies, one of which has lain in amniotic bliss inside the other, one of which has labored to give birth to the other. The materials are here for the deepest mutuality and the most painful estrangement.”
― Adrienne Rich

Even though Maiden is only 6 weeks old, the differences in personality between she and her sister are already making themselves evident. Matchgirl was a very laidback baby who could be set down for naps and sleep next to her father playing video games, without stirring. Maiden knows the minute you set her down and makes it very clear she has no plans to sleep by herself. I've tried having a conversation with her about how co-dependency is a bad habit to fall into, but 6 weeks old is not quite the age for the lesson to be absorbed. Matchgirl was always smiling and laughing; Maiden, who does smile and coo, has more serious, thoughtful moments, where she wrinkles her little brow up and provides a good mimicry of her uncle's face. Matchgirl has maintained a pretty steady personality, so it will be interesting to see if Maiden does the same.
I love being the mother of daughters, in fact, all I ever did want was daughters, so I have been blessed to have been given my two. We will probably drive my HMLA crazy with our combined chatter (Matchgirl already does) but he also gets to reap the benefits of the loving attentiveness that comes with being surrounded by a house full of females. Matchgirl already advocates for his footrubs, which tickles him to no end.
Matchgirl is starting pre-school at 3 years old in September. She is uber-excited. She begs to come to work with me, every day, and has her own little desk at her Mammaw's house where she makes her "notes" on little post-its. I'm delighted to see her interest in learning new things, and I hope she maintains that drive and curiosity throughout her life as she matures, much as I did. Heck, I still love learning and am curious about everything. Being bored is not really an affliction I suffer from.
My niece is now 14 and growing into a beautiful young lady. I hope my daughters lead as much of a charmed and happy life as she has had (minus the whole mother leaving when she was 4 thing). My brother makes me prouder by the minute in his role as single father raising his two kids. He's been promoted to run the title side of business at the law firm he works for, at just 33 years old. Last night, when I spoke to him, he was shopping with my niece for a formal dress for her 8th grade formal dance. Her first dance! She is so excited (and anxious) about starting high school next year. I am making her a little fairytale story soundtrack filled with anecdotes about when I was her age, as a welcome-to-high-school gift. Since her mom is not around, I want to make sure she still has that attentive woman-to-girl passing on of knowledge that should be given to every young woman as she grows and matures. Besides, I practically raised her from 4 to 10 and I love her immensely. She was my first "daughter" and made raising my own so much easier. I want to introduce her to all of the music, books, film and art and places on the map that moved me, in the hopes that they may move her in a positive manner as well.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Something new, every day

There are some new things I have learned with this second pregnancy:
1. random nosebleeds in one nostril are SO MUCH FUN......not.
2. I never realized how hard it was to stay in a good mood when you can't poo regularly.
3. just because this is my 2nd rodeo does not ease my anxiety that every time I turn around I'm probably harming my baby by drinking coffee or exercising or taking a Tums or, I don't know, breathing. I need a window into my uterus so I can do spot checks on my little tumble bunny.
4. I've just entered my 3rd trimester and it is becoming increasingly frustrating for my Matchgirl and I, that I cannot play with her "like Daddy does", i.e. catch her when she's jumping or ride her around on my back and shoulders, anymore, and that now, my ability to safely pick her up and carry her around is now about to end, as I've started getting Braxton-Hicks contractions afterward every time I pick her up and carry her. It doesn't feel like a strain while I'm doing it, but obviously my body is calling it quits, for the moment. This causes a whole lot of sad between the two of us.

So, now we're working on new ways to hang out that are more snuggle than carry, since I'm going to have recover time after the c-section to contend with, as well. I signed her up for the 1,000 books before kindergarten challenge. So we're trying to read 2 books a day together, at least. Also, I've been finding free printouts for toddler learning activities online and we're going to start doing those together in the evenings, after I get home from work. She'll be starting pre-school this year, and she loves to learn new things, so I thought this would be a productive way for us to hang out. No pressure, of course, she'll only be 3 in two days and I'm not one of those parents who feels the need to push my child to be a kindergarten genius. She's very clever and quick, already, so I am fully comfortable (and often times blown away) by her natural learning progress.

As an end note, if the people you love, love office supplies, and put them on their gift lists, it's not a joke. They really want them. I always put sticky notes and highlighters and sharpies and pens and notebooks and pencil cases on my gift lists and I never get any. :( It's like people gloss right over them, like, suuuuuuuuuure she wants a 12-pack of liquid highlighters....I bet she'd much rather have these cookie sheets! Which, I do want those cookie sheets, and thank you for getting them for me, but couldn't I get just one office supply? It would make me very, very happy. Especially if it was this Totoro pencil case....

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Stop, in the name of....

Let's ruminate for a moment on boundaries. There are so many ways boundaries can be set: personally, mentally, physically, geographically, spiritually, emotionally, etc. and so forth. Some boundaries are marked, others are insinuated; some boundaries come with doors and windows, entrances and exits, while others are complete enclosures, built from the inside out.

Boundaries are also, at least for me, very malleable things. The older I get, the more my boundaries subtly change their shape and structure. Sometimes I wonder if it will be a lifetime project for me, getting my boundary lines in the exact place and exact style that I want them to be in. One minute I want a structure of stone, but then later it becomes wood, and then later it becomes flowers. Sometimes I tear my boundaries down, then hastily rebuild them. Sometime I just knock a portion of the boundary out and peek around for a while until I figure out what the next step is. Some boundaries are still just fences I sit on, not yet ready to commit to one side or the other.

..and then, of course, you have to deal with all of the other boundaries, or lack thereof, when it comes to the people who inhabit the world around you.

Expecting my second child, or as it enters my mind, becoming a mom for the second time, is causing all of my boundaries to shift and change again. Some of them are reverting back to former positions they've been out of for almost 3 years now, realizing strengths once held. Others are falling down as old fears are faced and enemies are found to be less in presence than once expected.

Part of my problem with writing, I now see, stems from the fact that when my boundaries started to shift, it left me feeling unsure of where to put my verbal feet. I feel like I'm heading back onto the edges of some sort of pathway, now, and hopefully this alphabetic drought will end soon and everything will be less awkward.

Oh, and lest I forget to mention it, the second Maiden has a due date of Easter Sunday, so she shall probably be here Good Friday. What an apt time for new beginnings.