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Wednesday’s Bloom: Textual Portraits of a New Mommy

Munchkin contends that food tastes best only after massaging it into the clothes that Mommy will have to soak and wash.

Munchkin contends that food tastes best only after crushing between the fingers and massaging it into the clothes that Mommy will have to soak and wash.

65 weeks | This will be brief | no. 0059

I knew some days would be like this one. My partner tells me I shouldn’t be so transparent with you. That some folks are loyal followers of Wednesday’s Bloom and will be disappointed that I haven’t delivered something more phenomenal than the truth of this moment. I am willing to take that risk.

I am physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. It took everything to peel myself away from my sleeping munchkin and set up the computer– (because now the computer has to live in the closet since a certain little person loves to THROW it on the floor when I leave it out!)– and open up a new post. So, here I am; this is me.

Originally, I wanted to title this post “God’s gonna trouble the water,” and talk about this uncomfortable journey of having to investigate the painful realities of #Ferguson and #MikeBrown and #DarrenWilson and #BlackLivesMatter. I wanted to explore this resilient impetus we mothers have to love and create life, even when the world we inhabit can be cruel and insistent on death.

There is something truly miraculous in our willingness to give birth anyway. None of us black women is without knowledge of what they have done to our grandmothers’ grandmothers’ grandmothers’ babies for generations, centuries. Atrocities, too many to number. Still, we go through the revolutionary of act of allowing life to flourish in our wombs, nurturing gentle heartbeats to grow, empowering embryonic muscles to strengthen. Then we deliver our blessings out into the world with the best of hopes, the highest of dreams. We call them our children.

On the night that the grand jury’s decision was announced that there would be no indictment for the person who murdered another black mother’s child, I was nursing the munchkin to sleep. He had had a full day and I was certain that it would take no more than a half an hour for him to be deep into his rest. My mother called me from the grocery store to tell me the news because she figured correctly that I had been so consumed with munchkin matters and hadn’t yet heard. My heart sank again for that child who was lost from this world, for his grieving parents and family, for the community still bleeding from the wounds themselves, for the ones blind to the destruction of life caused at their own hands, for the rage that would flow, for the peace that was still so far, far away.

Each time I tried to pull away from the munchkin, he tugged harder at the nipple. Never opening his eyes, but communicating still that he wasn’t ready for me to go. I wondered if energetically he could feel the turmoil in the air. A town coming undone nearly a thousand miles away. A nation taking to the streets in protests. A global citizenry reeling at the tragic injustice of it all, the blaring disregard of just one human life wailing louder than any siren ever could. This is the world I have born you into?

Two hours passed before the munchkin released the breast. In that time I skimmed the headlines to see what was being said, and to try to piece together some sense of what happened. The thought that kept circling back to me is the audacity of us mothering beings to do our work in the midst of such turbulence. There is ugliness in so many places around the planet, and yet we continue to cultivate beauty and vitality wherever we are. It is our persevering love, our capacity to hold space for the delicate beginnings of change, that keeps the world from total despair. We are the binding, I realized during that extended breastfeeding session with my munchkin. We are the source of renewal in what would otherwise fall into certain decay.

I know some of my future mommies are scared when they see the all too frequent discarding of black bodies, of black youth robbed of their fullness, in this country. It is absolutely horrifying, especially when your own child is nestled safely in your arms and you are perplexed at the thought of having to educate him about such things one day. But I feel like I have to just say this, to those women who are going through the invisible mothering stage of planning to be a mother one day: We need you to birth through that fear anyway. The kinetic-love potential of the life force you will contribute to the universe is a critical component for humanity to thrive. Breathe through the hard parts of these truths everyday. It will not get easier, but you will get stronger. This is how we are able to press on. This is how we are able to sustain life in the world.

~~~

The munchkin, my first born, was born on a Wednesday. Wednesday’s Bloom: Textual Portraits of a New Mommy is an ongoing multi-media documentary project about my process as a mother. Today’s story is a part of Volume 1, 73 consecutive weeks of posts, spanning about the first year and a half of the munchkin’s life. Each episode explores my weekly discoveries, challenges, questions, and hopes as a mother. I also facilitate the New Mommy Writers’ Workshop for all mothers and women active in their mothering work who are excited about cultivating their own writing practices.

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