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Freewrite a go-go - Page 2

post #21 of 67

anticipation

First, the anticipation of writing, sharing with you other seeking mamas.

Now that Isaiah is 12 weeks old, I think of how I anticipated him and could not possibly imagine the realness of his being. I tried to be present with our pregnancy. I loved nearly every moment of it. I loved being treated like a queen by friends, family and strangers. I loved letting my belly stick out and feeling like that was what it was supposed to do rather than something I needed to minimize or hide. I loved having something to focus on, a higher purpose as I weaved through my busy days. My beloved dog, Belly, and I would go on long walks and I would now sing to her and the being inside me.

Isaiah was conceived while I had a cold between two yoga workshop weekends. The weekend before he was conceived, I spent the weekend doing anusara yoga with John Friend, its charismatic originator. I was in San Francisco, my former hometown, and I thrilled at the invigorating yoga as well as running around with dear friends and shopping for things I couldn't get in the rural town in which I now live--wine, clothes and cds. After buying 4 skirts, 2 pairs of pants, and a couple of shirts, I knew I'd get pregnant and grow out of them quickly. Sure enough, my husband and I connected on tax day while I had a cold and felt decidedly unromantic but pretty certain the time was ripe. A couple of days later, I attended a meditation workshop in Ashland which focused on opening the heart. I felt so good during these times, even with the cold. I felt alive, open, optimistic. At 37, after years of yearning for a baby without even knowing why, I felt myself letting go of the stress of striving and discovering an equinimity in just being.

Just a couple of weeks later, the test was positive and we were off and running into the marvelous adventure of parenthood.

My two goals for the year of 2004 were to get pregnant and to dance in our community samba parade. With Isaiah in my belly, I learned to dance and mastered the moves all summer long. We shared the experience, two dancing bodies in one. I thought learning the rhythms would help him as he came into his own body. More important, I had so much fun! I loved being the pregnant dancer in the parade, the one people noticed as being the cute, pregnant dancer. My full belly helped me feel more confident in my dancing; for one of the first times in my life, I felt like I was good enough as exactly as I was and that I didn't need to fit my idea of a "great dancer." for the most part, pregnancy helped liberate me from my ideas of what I should get done in a day, how I should feel, how I should look, how much weight I should gain and allowed me to surrender to the shape of the day. What preparation for motherhood! The art of surrender.

I was aware during pregnancy that I couldn't possibly anticipate motherhood. I haven't spent a lot of time with babies and didn't feel confident in my parenting skills, but I also trusted that some instinct would kick in. This experience of having Isaiah is unanticipable. How could I know the tenderness of watching him learning to smile, giggle in his sleep, knit his hands together, light up when he sees me.

I have to go now, but I want to add more on this subject.
post #22 of 67

Lu - PREGNANCY TEST

I was 19, living in a student flat. I was sharing a room with a guy, one I thought was my best friend. It was only temporary, I knew that, I had no illusions about the relationship.
Three days after my period was due, I knew. I didn't need to take the test, I just knew. My friends urged me to take the test, they went with me to the pharmacy to buy it. The lady behind the counter suggested I buy 2, just to be sure, so I did. I think she knew the situation, me coming in with two friends to buy a pregnancy test, but she didn't pity me, and I appreciated that.
I took it home, did what I had to do. We waited at the kitchen table, my friends and me, sitting waiting to see if my life was going to change. When the two lines appeared, I laughed. I wasn't laughing because I was happy, it was more of a hysterical laugh. I think back and wonder 'Why did I laugh?' the fact is I couldn't help it, it just came out and I couldn't stop it. They looked at me strangely, like they thought I had planned it and was happy, sometimes I wonder if they still think I planned it.
The next decision - do I keep the baby? Everyone thought it was a tough decision for me, but it wasn't. I knew from the moment I found out (well, from the moment I stopped laughing hysterically) that I couldn't abort this baby. It was a part of me, it belonged to me.
How do I tell my mother? I ended up on the train one night, going to her house because I couldn't wait any longer to tell her. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, I was shaking and wringing my hands as I told her, I felt like such a disapointment. She was amazing. We cried together, she hugged me and told me it wasn't the end of the world, and I could move back in with her if I needed to.
Now, how to tell the father? I knew what his attitude would be from conversations we'd had when we were just friends, so I thought I was prepared. I wasn't. He called the baby a sexually transmitted disease, he said I wouldn't be able to look after it, he said it was better off dead than with a single mother. I told him I was keeping the baby, and he walked out the door, never to be seen again.
I ended up moving back with mother not long after.
post #23 of 67

Cravings

I told Jeremy the awful truth one day. I said, “You are composed of over fifty percent peanut butter cups.” Amazing that I would admit that, when my enforcement of good eating habits drives me to make whole wheat flour cookies and secretly throw away--or, okay, I admit it, eat—handfuls of their Halloween candy.

It was peanut butter cups and egg rolls. I couldn't eat enough egg rolls, and they had to have sweet and sour sauce. Oh, and salad with lots of avocado. And how could I forget strawberries?

Just thinking about that summer in Vegas when I was pregnant with Jeremy I crave egg rolls all over again. When I was on bedrest and dependent on everyone else for my food (damn that What to Eat when You're Expecting book!) and all there was to watch on TV was the O.J. trial—on every channel—my mom came to visit for a week and she would secretly buy me peanut butter cups. I must have eaten at least a pack of them every day.

I wonder how much of our cravings indicate something about or influence our unborn children. He loves peanut butter. No, scrap that. He doesn't like vinegar, which was a common theme throughout my cravings during that pregnancy. My second pregnancy was less intense. I felt better, didn't have cravings in the same desperate way. My second son is fond of vinegar though. Maybe I saved that for him?
post #24 of 67

Anticipation

Upon finding out I was pregnant the only evidence I had was a missed period and two lines on a peed-on stick. I wanted more. I needed more in order to believe it was even possible. Anything could make a line on a stick, couldn't it? I had never taken a pregnancy test before so I had nothing to compare to.

I looked in a book and saw that the baby was barely bigger than a grain of rice. I looked at the photo of the grape next to it and thought, “Oh! She will be the size of a grape next week! I can't wait!” And next to that was a medium-sized strawberry. I couldn't imagine having a baby as large as a strawberry so I fixated on the grape, anticipating the growing. And then eventually—I could hardly fathom this—my belly would start to grow. And then I would feel the baby kick.

The baby—not the grain of rice—and the blood-wave shock would ride through me again. I just can't believe this is happening. I longed for more concrete proof, something to satisfy my senses.

A week after I found out I was pregnant, spots of blood appeared on my underwear. I looked at them in horror and it was then I realized how very much I wanted this baby, how much I had grown to love this abstract being in just one week, how I had begun to embrace the idea of being a mother Now rather than the Someday I'd always envisioned.

I ran to the university to meet my fiance after his class because I didn't know what else to do. He, although shocked like I was, had jumped whole-heartedly into the expectant father role. He held my hand as I dropped tears on the sidewalk on the way back to our little apartment.

We went to urgent care where they said my hormone levels were normal but that I'd most likely lost the baby so the levels would drop and I may pass some tissue. The next day I bled some more and the next night I thought it was over. I waited for my aversion to green peppers to fade. I waited for my breasts to stop hurting. The symptoms hung on and I mourned as I sat not eating at the table. I couldn't wait to feel normal again. It wasn't fair to feel pregnant when I wasn't and I had to wonder if my resistance to believing could have caused my body to refuse to do it's job or if my running that afternoon could have made things worse.

The next week we went to my parents' house, an eight hour drive. We had planned on telling them about the baby on that trip and I remained tired and teary and just wanted sleep and lots of avocados in my salad. I was so frustrated with my body. On an impulse when we were at Raley's getting groceries we threw a pregnancy test in the cart so we could put an end to this wondering, and when we went back to the house I hid in the bathroom and peed on the stick. He held me as I sat with my arms wrapped around myself rocking, anticipating the one lonely blue line staring up at me. There were two.

I breathed again. I was going to be a mother.

That night we shared the news with my parents and my cousin and I laughed at their shock as I shared the anticipation of new life.
post #25 of 67

10th Birthday

Next month my oldest daughter will turn nine years old. As I recently pondered the fact that I have been a mother for almost a decade, I tried to reflect on what I hope I have learned. My first thought is that I hope I have learned how precious time is. I remember thinking as a child that a day took forever, but a decade??!! That seemed more like a thousand years. But as I look back over the last decade, I realize that it has gone by in the blink of an eye. I still distinctly remember the day that Abby was born and the way that she wailed as she made her way into the world. I look at her now with her long legs and her sweet yet knowlegeable smile and I can't help but ask myself how it has gone so fast. I hope that as I have watched her grow that I have learned the value of the time that we spend with those we love. I also hope that I have learned patience and how to serve others. I remember that impatient self-serving 19 year old that I was when I first became a mother, and as I look at the mother of four that I am years later, I hope that I am more patient and more willing to serve those around me. Motherhood teaches us that living deserves patience, and it teaches us that we should savor it when things move slower than we would like. It teaches us that in serving our children we ultimately take care of ourselves and our futures. I also hope that I have learned about what is not important. I don't have much when it comes to material possessions, but I would rather have my four kids than anything else in the world. This last decade as a mother has shown me that the things that this world values are just things, but not a single one of those things could ever replace my Abby, my Maxwell, my Malaika or my Isaiah. I look at my precious girl that is just hovering on the brink of becoming a woman and I treasure every minute that I have had with her. I look at her with her brothers and her sister and I can't wait to see what the next decade of motherhood will hold. I look forward to everything that it will teach me.
post #26 of 67

Leaving

One day she is going to leave. I'll stand on the front porch, my hand stuck in a wave, watching her back out of the driveway. Since we bought this house I've imagined her leaving from it. The driveway that will lead her anywhere, everywhere. "To college. Harvard, of course," I laugh with my husband. "To her own family," he says with a smile. "To the Army," we both frown with worry. I see the path of her life rolling out before her. I can't stop it or even slow it down. I know it will take her on a wonderful journey, and I hope to see some of it with her. Her journey starts here. For now, we share the path together and I wont miss a moment of it. The first time she watched a flower turn into a strawberry. When she saw letters on paper and recognized her own name. How she made up her own joke and it was honestly funny. I want to be with her always. Today we snuggle on the couch and she nurses. I look out the window, up the driveway, and think of the world that is waiting for her. I can hear her sweet voice calling, "Bye, Mom!" as she waves then hits the accelerator. I kiss her forehead, hold her a little tighter and whisper, "not today."
post #27 of 67

HoneymoonBaby's freewrite

When I saw the second pink line, I cried for an hour. I was sure my life was over. How was I to know that you'd make my life more vibrant and joyful than I could yet imagine? I was twenty-two years old, fresh from a wedding and a honeymoon, and looking forward to twelve long, languid, sensual months getting to know my husband in new and exciting ways before even starting to think about the "b" word.

My mom always said I was born old, and most of the time, I agree. But I've never felt as young, never doubted my maturity, never lost faith in my competence than the way that I did at that moment, with my back against the bathroom wall and a toilet at my feet, staring at a plastic stick heralding the end of my life as I knew it.

But it was a beginning, of course. The beginning of one life that would be the catalyst for the formation of so many new ones -- my life as a mother, my husband's life as a father, my parents' life as grandparents, my sister's life as an aunt . . . you redefined life for all these people before you were even aware of your own.

And now, look at you. They say that sugar and spice and everything nice are the exclusive purview of baby girls, but you, my boy, are ten times as sweet as I ever was. Always ready with a smile, a hug, a caress, a giggle . . . perfect strangers stop to marvel over your happy, radiant face wherever we go.

In the eighteen months since I stared at that stick with a sinking feeling in my gut, I have become a new person. A person who knows more, cares more, does more. A person who loves more. A person who keeps an old pee-soaked plastic stick with two pink stripes in a special spot so every once in a while, she can look at that stick and remember how far she's come -- and how truly she is blessed.
post #28 of 67

Aisling's Freewrites

The purchase

I can't recall whether it was December or January, but I was big into the "online freebies" and I spent $10 at Drugstore.com on a package of condoms and a pregnancy test. A friend of mine laughed and told me if we use the condoms, we won't have need for the test. We never did open those condoms. February 19 I got a positive test, I was pregnant with my second son. I remember putting my 14 month old son down for a nap, taking the test just before jumping into the shower, and getting out after a few minutes to read it. I showered in happiness. It was an unplanned pregnancy, and I was nervous about telling my husband. I was going to a party with my parents that afternoon, and he was at work, I called to tell him before I left. I told him - Please don't be mad. Even knowing we created this new life together I was so worried he would be angry. And he was, but quickly got used to the idea of another little one.

I had hoped to have my children closer together but could never talk my husband into it. I really wanted a boy. They would be 22 months apart, and it just seemed right to have brothers. In October when he was born I delighted in the phrase "my boys" I still have that EPT. He'll be five years old this year, he's getting a baby for his birthday.
post #29 of 67

First Bicycle

My first bicycle arrived on Christmas when I had just turned five. I remember sitting on it before Christmas “just to try it out” they said and then there it was on Christmas morning, with tissue paper draped over it sitting in front of the Christmas tree watching over the other packages. I knew Santa brought it but I knew I had seen it before and these two mutually exclusive thoughts produced a foggy confusion in the back of my head that was quickly displaced by my excitement.

After the rest of the gifts were opened—I forget what they were—I went outside to try riding it. It had training wheels. It was a cute little thing, a red Schwinn, but when I did learn to ride without the training wheels this happy little bike didn't get to perform. It was Michelle's bike I used, because the frame was a bit smaller, lower, and I felt more confident on it. I remember pedaling fast trying to keep it up with no wobbles. I remember Michelle letting go of the back, that little loop behind the banana seat (didn't all bikes have banana seats back then?) and I was off. Once I had her bike mastered, I switched back to my own which suddenly didn't seem so big.

Somehow I eventually outgrew that bike and got the blue one from Kelly. Not the pink bike I'd hoped for but plain and blue and it was dependable and very fast. We'd ride on the dirt path behind the high school, flying over little hills and splashing down into the mud, making stripes up our backs. I learned to fly on the blue bike.
post #30 of 67

Tenth Birthday

I remember very little about my tenth birthday. Three things stick out in my mind. They made a big deal out of the fact that I now had “double digits”. I had to ask myself why that mattered so much and try to convince myself it did and that I was somehow more grown up because of it.

The other thing I remember was that Grandmother gave me a suitcase. It was small, yellow and pink floral and well it was a suitcase. A strange gift, I thought. I liked it but I wanted toys. Didn't know what in particular but I wanted toys. I'd probably just be bored with them but on your birthday shouldn't a girl get to open a present with a toy inside? A doll maybe? Grandmother's presents were always so serious and practical. Good quality. But never Fun. This is something it took much more than double digits to come to appreciate!

The last part of my tenth birthday memory is standing in front of Grandmother's night table, holding my suitcase, looking at the phone. This was the phone I had picked up and tried to dial the past. I thought maybe it could work like a time machine, I guess.

Once, knowing we had lived in Sonoma until I was four and that our phone number would have had to be a different one than the one we currently had in Napa, I asked my mom what our old number was. What would happen if I called it, I wondered. Would my mom answer it five years ago? I tried it. A strange lady's voice answered and next thing I knew I was getting in trouble.
post #31 of 67
Okay, I’ll admit it. I have an addiction. I can’t stop doing pregnancy tests. They’re like a drug to me, a glorious high. Seeing those two lines pop up – over and over and over again. Celebration, confirmation, definitive, scientific proof of news that I just can’t ever seem to let myself trust.

They carry them at the dollar store now, I can stock pile the tests without spending a hideous amount of money. Is it healthy to encourage this addiction? Shouldn’t I focus on having faith?

For me, faith comes later, in the second half of pregnancy. When the baby comes alive, and kicks and rolls and waves remind me that yes, indeed, there is someone growing in there. Until then, I am wracked with doubt, worry, insecurity. I feel compelled to reach for one of those test sticks, peel back the foil wrapper and head for the toilet. Even with all my practice, I’ve not yet mastered the art of performing the test without getting urine on my hands. I’ve learned not to care.

And then, I wait. Even if I’ve spent the last week puking with horrid morning sickness I am breathless, anxious, fatalistic. I stare at the test, not giving much credence to the whole ‘watched pot never boils’ cliché. I can attest; a pregnancy test watched with hawk-like intensity works just as quickly as one ignored and left to stand on the bathroom counter while you tend to other tasks.

I don’t throw my tests away, not until after the birth. I hold many superstitions, but this one is sacred. Wouldn’t it be the worst kind of fate tempting to throw away proof of life before that life makes it to the world?

My husband thinks it is disgusting – this pile of used, urine covered pregnancy tests littering my drawer in the bathroom.

I think it is beautiful.
post #32 of 67

Janettes Freewrites

Cravings...

My first pregnancy brought cravings of potatoes. I loved them baked with lots of melted butter. I would eat them for breakfast, lunches, snacks and dinner. I have always loved potatoes but not to this excess.

My second pregnancy brought forth a craving of strawberries. I ate flats and flats of strawberries when I was pregnant with my second child. I had never been much of a strawberry eater before this pregnancy. I just could not get enough of these berries. It seemed like every couple of days I would be going out to the market to buy more. My husband just shook his head in disbelief at the sheer amount of strawberries I could consume!

You know that old wives tale that if you eat too many strawberries your baby will born with a strawberry birthmark? Well that old tale rang true for my little girl. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the birthmark on her body and had to laugh at the absurdity of it. Her strawberry birthmark was on the left side of her body under her arm. Did those strawberries really leave a mark on her tiny little body? My eldest was not born with any strawberry birthmarks and I really don’t know of anyone else in my family that had or has one either?

Perhaps if my oldest had been born with a potato birthmark no doubt would linger in my mind about the truth of this old wives tale. It would somehow seem logical to me then that what you ate could leave a physical mark on an infant. But I question why only strawberries could do this?

Somewhere inside of me I knew that the tales and wisdoms passed down among women held many truths that we as modern women feel compelled to disbelieve. Perhaps it is because of lack of scientific evidence or the fear women have to be once again thought of as the superstitious uneducated women of the past.

Perhaps my daughters birthmark has nothing to do with all of those berries I loved eating while pregnant but even if it is just a coincidence a part of me will always hold some belief in this old tale.
post #33 of 67

Janettes Freewrites

Leaving…

I began to dream of leaving. I daydreamed of running away from my life and being somewhere else. I was still taking dance classes and choreographing my own pieces. There were no children or husband or in fact any family included in this fantasy. Just myself , my clean home and tons of time to do what I wanted. I am thin and beautiful once again but then reality hits me hard. I open my eyes and see the dishes that need washing, the floor that needs mopping and the children that need caring and my mothering instincts snap to attention. I am an awesome multi tasker and can be homeshcooling with one daughter, playing polly pockets with another and have bread baking in the oven while a load of laundry is washing.

Just recently I have come to the realization that I am not always present in my life. Really, really present in what I am doing at the moment. Constant thoughts run through my head, my to do lists that are never written down but always remembered.

I needed to do something. I have begun to meditate. I now know I must breathe and be present or else my life will pass before me and I will have missed it! And missing it is inexcusable and absolutely unforgivable because I have been blessed many times over in this lifetime.

Sometimes when I feel so tired from trying to get everything done I feel weepy and resentful. Then my daydreams begin to creep up on me again. I must look hard then at my world around me and really open my eyes to see the good around me. Life can be hard at times but I marvel how many of us continue to only see what they don’t have instead of what they do.

Meditation does not come easy to me. I find it difficult to sit and not “do” anything for long periods of time. This last sentence just goes to show how much I need to meditate and how I must learn that it is not doing "nothing". It is nurturing and replenishing my soul. It is taking care of me, which is just as important as all the tasks that life sets before me.

I don’t believe that I would ever leave and I really do love my life. It is just those bad life moments, like when my 3 year old wont stop crying and the dryer breaks down and I have ten dollars in the bank until the next pay day that overwhelm me. I must learn to be in that moment and know it will pass because most of my life consists of the good moments that some can only dream of having.
post #34 of 67

Ana's Freewrite: Leaving

It doesn't matter anymore...that our baby is a mere eight months and does a new trick of clamping her gums together and snorting. She smiles at me as she does this, over and over on the floor of the room we all share. Family of five but one is...
not yet.
But it doesn't matter anymore...that our smallish daughter is only four, and she has the cutest little bob and a mischievous smile. Her brown eyes are yet so innocent and so..old for her few years.
And it doesn't matter anymore that our son, oldest child birthed into water into the strongest pair of hands I've known, is outside poised over a butterfly bush, net in hand, to catch a painted lady.
Or a monarch.
It doesn't matter.
It doesn't matter that I wore white and my knees shook when I looked into his eyes and we kissed to seal our commitment. It doesn't matter that his hair flew into his eyes and he cocked his head to one side to push it back, long and curly as it was. It doesn't matter that little things like that melted my heart.

All that matters now has been reduced to the scope of one reckless night. I feel the weight of fatigue on my eyes. I didn't sleep last night, the clock was my only companion, and the tidal rhythm of my childrens' breath in that room. The room we all share. Except for one of us who is leaving.
post #35 of 67
I wanted to add something about "anticipation." While I anticipated that having a baby would bring joy and beauty into my life I could never have imagined the immense LOVE I have for this sweet daughter of mine. I love her throughly, with the essence of my being. She lived in the innermost part of my body (inside an organ...how much more in can one go?), and now the love I feel for her permeates every inch of my being, and somehow continues to grow as she and I spend each day together. There is no way to anticipate this magical mama/baby love.
post #36 of 67

Ana's freewrite: Anticipation

All I see when I think of this word is Frankenfurter's big lips holding the syllables in silence as the audience in the theater, where I saw this movie so long ago, called out their lines: Wait for it! Wait for it!

Wait for it. Such has been my life, it seems. I once read a quote that still resonates and informs my days: The way you spend your days is the way you'll spend your life. I take stock of what that means for me and see a string of days, like paper doll cutouts silhouetted against a bright sky. Days filled with meeting needs, relentlessly, endlessly. Needs whined through deeply lipsticked four-year-old lips. Needs shouted in my direction by a vocal ten-month-old with duck fuzz hair. Questions with higher brain answers--what's the capitol of Pennsylvania, mom?--interjected with pleas of go with me to the potty pleeeeeaaaaaaase.

My anticipation is sleeping silently within me. It wants to awaken, shake the dust off and feel the breeze again. My anticipation comes to life for small stretches of time here, in the dark, in the quiet of a sleeping house. All I hear are my fingers on these keys, not stopping but for a breath now and then. My shoulder hurts, my back aches. I have been so long bent into a position that maligns my hips and back. 23 pound baby on my hip for hours...days...weeks....until I feel the impression of his tiny body even when we are apart.

Anticipation is wondering when I will arise and finally step into what means real to me. What is real to me. Creation--I did that with my children but I long to do it with my eyes, my hands, my heart, intentionally, aligning imagery across a canvas or in the small square of my viewfinder. Creation--the design of words across a screen or page. Creation--the time and space to read a book from beginning....to end.
Perhaps to write one. Yes, to write one.

I am full, awaiting my moment. Anticipating my potential, my realization.
post #37 of 67

Pregnancy Test

Inside the jewelry box in my bedroom lies a stack of used, yellowed pregnancy tests. Each time I have been pregnant, I have taken several tests. I took them before I even missed my periods so that I could watch the little pink lines get darker and darker as the days went by. I took them to reassure myself of each new life quietly growing inside of me. I took them because somehow in my heart I knew that those would be the last easy answers I would ever get when it came to questions about my kids. Looking at those pink lines was a concrete answer to one of life’s questions. I have never received a concrete answer to a parenting question since. There are no pink lines to look at when your child is hurting and you are looking for the answer to cure her hurt. You can’t pee on a stick for an answer when your child is seriously ill and you don’t know what to do to make him better. When Daddy leaves and you can’t explain it to your children because you can’t explain it to yourself, you can’t just go to the drugstore and buy a test in a box to give you a fast and reliable answer in just three minutes. Parenting is one of the biggest risks that any person can ever take. It is hard, it is painful, and it will completely change every aspect of your life. Nothing will ever be normal again; nothing will ever be easy again. Every day I put myself out there for my kids, and every day I learn how to be more and more thankful that I have the opportunity to do so. Every day I ask questions and re-ask them and ask them again. And every day I find that no matter how long I’ve been a parent, answering the questions never gets any easier. So, I keep those plastic sticks hidden away in my jewelry box. I keep them so that I can remember how it felt to hear those little pink lines shout “yes” to me. I keep them as a reminder that even though life may start with a concrete answer, that nothing else in life will ever be that black and white again. And I keep them because I am thankful; thankful for the easy answers, the hard answers, and all the ones in between.
post #38 of 67

Leaving

Leaving was always the hardest thing, but not for myself. I longed to run screaming down the road some days. “Anybody! Take him! Just for an hour!” It was hard for Jeremy, who clung to me so tightly, as if I were his only connection to this world.

The two of us were bonded so tightly, there were times I didn't know where I left off and he began. He was a part of me for so long. We'd been together constantly since he was conceived, the only break being during surgical procedures. It was if we were connected on a biological and a psychological level. When the doctor gave me a painful examination three days after the birth I winced and gasped but it was Jeremy who let out a shout of pain, the earsplitting cry that caused my newly filled breasts to tingle and leak. I was sure he could feel it.

During the colicky days, I felt crampy and weak and I paced with the crying boy. We would take on one another's feelings. I would look at his little baby arm and (what a horrible thought) knew that if someone pinched it, I would shriek with the pain.

When he was two and we'd almost never been separated and I was growing heavier by the day with his little brother (“Look at the surprise you're in for now, sweetie. If this doesn't rock your world, what will?”), I needed to escape now and then, for my health and sanity. I couldn't do the 24-hour togetherness anymore; I needed to breathe. Wednesday nights became my coffee night. I would grab a novel and drive the few country blocks over to Rick's Cafe and get a decaf mocha while I sat and read for an hour or two, knowing or at least suspecting what was going on at home.

The second I made any move towards the door, the instant Jeremy could detect my intention to leave, he would make a beeline for my kneecaps and attach himself with a grip whose strength could only be compared to the that of a spiderweb on an insect about to get sucked dry. So I would have to put space between us, or worse, sneak out—which I never felt good about, well, not until I reached an especially riveting chapter in whatever book I was reading down at the cafe.

If he saw me actually exit through the door, walk past the front window and drive off in the car, I would hear his screams until I started the engine and they would echo in my ears till I returned.

I felt the weight of his sadness and desperation the whole time I was gone, and thought several times about coming home early and had to remind myself that he had to connect with his father sometime, that everything would be okay. It's not like he's alone or something. When I'd come home to help put him to bed, I'd come in and the furniture would be rearranged, the piano bench pushed up to one edge of the futon sofa, and the easy chair pushed up against the other side.

When I asked about it, it was explained to me. “It was to block him from getting to you as you went out the door,” he said. “I didn't want to be the bad guy, physically restraining him from getting to you.” I sunk to the chair and cried. To have someone love you and depend on you so much that his world shatters when you leave, that is a scary and beautiful thing.
post #39 of 67
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post #40 of 67

freewrite: Viola's cravings

OOOO I crave attention, the kind I use to get before I became a SAHM and some how found myself only in conversations about my daughter or my husband. No one asks me what I am reading or writing or studying or doing; they ask about my daughter's dress, her hair or my husband's career. I crave interaction on an intellectual level about world news and gnostic writings and poetry and music that doesn't have a repeating rhyming chorus or blue dogs singing. I crave my size 6 body and my six pack ads; my 6 minute mile and my 12 mile runs into solitude into prayer into zen. The zen art of cleaning the same mess 7 times a day has yet to inspire me so. I crave a full night's sleep and a really good facial. I crave the perfect martini and chocolate cream pie. But here is the catch if I had all those things I would crave the soft breath of my child on my neck and her smile of joy when she wakes up next to me (at 3 AM). I would crave her happy dance and her curly locks and her gentle touch and her rare and wonderful kisses. I would crave her blue, blue eyes somberly gazing at mine as she points to my nose, my ears, my eyes and my mouth as though this were a most sacred religious ritual. So maybe what it is I really crave is the intigration of my former self with my mommy self and the space and place to express and explore both without having to compromise either.
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