Archive for the 'restlessness' Category

There Will Be Time

There is time still
for sitting in cafes
in Paris
sipping wine.
Time still
for going to meet
the guru.
There is time still.
Now I am caring for eternity.
Carrying bodies soft with sleep
to beds of flowered
quilts and pillows.
Answering cries deep out of
nighttime fears.
Buckling shoes.
Opening doors.
Pretending.
My soul now is dwelling in
the house of tomorrow.
Tomorrow there will be time
for long leisurely conversations,
for poems to write,
and dances to perform.
Time still.
So I surrender now
to them and this,
knowing it is they
who will teach me
how to do it all.

Peggy O’Mara

Gratitude

Ah, the subject of gratitude. It continually pops up in my life at various intervals, showing off its nice white plastic smile and little index finger wagging. “Tsk tsk tsk!” it chides, “you should be grateful.”

I’ve had an Anonymous comment reminding me this week that instead of feeling entitled to what I have, I should just be gracious. This is all well and good, and believe you me, I understand this concept quite well. In fact, I wish I could find a way to explain to you just how long and hard I have fought the battle inside my head for gratitude. Oprah even came out with this great idea of a “Gratitude journal”, where everyday you just write a little tidbit of something you are thankful for. The end product, of course, is that each evening you settle in to bed with a content little smile because you are lucky. Lucky to be alive. Lucky to be healthy. Lucky to have a roof over your head and food to eat. Lucky to have children when others cannot. Lucky to have a spouse that loves you and treats you well.

And yet, for me, focusing on gratitude just leaves me feeling guilty and selfish. I’m sorry that I cannot just be grateful. I’m sorry that I’m restless, never content, wanting more and needing better. I’m alive, I am healthy, my cholesterol is low, my blood pressure is fantastic, but I want to be leaner and stronger. I have a place to live and food on my plate but I want my own space with a view of the ocean and organically grown vegetables in my crisper. I thank God for my kids and without them I would not be here, but I wish they had come later and sometimes, I wish they hadn’t come at all. I have a husband who worships me and yet it makes me feel empty and bored and I crave a man who will challenge me. I’m sorry. I’m sorry that I cannot be still and satisfied. I’m sorry.

Little blank slates

Having another child, six years after the last, has been a strange experience. Especially because my first two boys were 18 months apart, born when I was 19…then 20. I had no clue what I was doing, blindly following the next bit of advice from whoever felt the need to give it to me. This time around, I had six long years to contemplate my mistakes, my regrets, and make firm decisions about what I would do differently. And so, I planned a pregnancy. I took all natural prenatals. I quit smoking. I drank lots of water. I ate well. I exercised. I religiously applied creams and lotions to my ever expanding belly. I refused stupid prenatal testing. Any aches or pains or minor annoyances were solved naturally, with homeopathics and chiropractics. I labored on the toilet, on my birthing ball, listening to Norah Jones, and Animal pushed his way into the world in my very own queen size bed. He had no suctioning, we waited to cut the cord, he nursed immediately, we rubbed the vernix into his skin. My chiropractor adjusted him soon after birth. We fought for 12 long, excruciating weeks to breastfeed successfully. We triumphed. He thrived. He received no medications, no vaccinations. He consumed breastmilk alone until 7 months, then nothing but organics.

Of course, there have been mistakes this past year. The night I felt like smothering him with his pacifier, sleep deprived and hormonal and sobbing and B woke with a start to find that crazy look in my eye and rescued us. The times I’ve yelled a little too loud when I’ve found his hands in the toilet, or when he’s fought so hard during a diaper change and I can’t keep him still. But beyond that, there’s nothing. He’s a clean slate. Still so new and innocent.

Einstein said today, “I can’t wait until Animal is old enough to play video games with me.” I promptly responded with “NO. No, he won’t play video games. I don’t want to ruin his brain.” As if implying that Einstein and Pigpen have already been ruined, dumbed down, numb, hypnotized, transfixed in front of the television screen.

And now, a doctor has prescribed a powerful antibiotic to kill off the bug that has kept Rylan sick for 3 weeks now, and I can’t bear to fill the prescription. I have to be so careful about what I put in his body. So many things have the power to harm him.

I can’t even bear the thought of his birthday cake. All that refined sugar and fat and artery clogging shit being pumped into him and everyone clapping and laughing and egging him on and taking pictures.

In many ways, I feel like I used the last pregnancy as my chance to fix the mistakes of my past. To prove to myself that I could do it right. What happens, I wonder, when the inevitable fuck ups happen? How will I feel? Will I think I have failed myself? Will I crave another child, another beginning, another fresh start?

In a few weeks I will be getting an IUD, which (if all goes well) should provide birth control for 10 years. Until I am 38 years old. Until I am sure there will be no more babies coming. It’s got me so introspective. I can’t imagine an end, and yet I realize that there has to be one. I just have to keep reminding myself that the boys are still okay and they can’t be left unfinished. They aren’t like the apartments I got bored of, packing up my things and leaving on impulse. They aren’t the diaries that I gave up on, halfway through, wanting something new and clean. They aren’t the classes I dropped, the jobs I walked out on. They are works in progress, little humans, still needy and with so much left to be taught. I just have to keep pushing through, and hoping that as they grow, I’ll grow too, and the mistakes won’t be so frequent.