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Wednesday’s Bloom: Textual Portraits of a New Mommy

70 weeks | We’re here | no. 0064

I have been on the computer way too much. I actually miss my munchkin, even though he hasn’t been away from me this whole time. But I have been deeply in techie-facilitator-business mode designing tomorrow’s launch of the New Mommy Writers’ Workshop’s inaugural membership season. Interspersed between the long moments of my clattering fingers on the keyboard, we would catch each other’s eyes. Him wondering when I’m going to get up and play or read or change that awful smelling diaper. And me silently pleading with him to just give me five, ten, twenty more minutes to feel like some step has been completed. Mommy’s almost done.

This work is never done, though. Even when one part is organized, there’s a parade of to-dos marching right over that fleeting sense of accomplishment. Tonight, I reached one goal: registration is all set up and I can “open” the application process tomorrow, which happens to be the first day of a new year. But that wasn’t enough to turn the computer off and say well done for the day. I just spent over 2 hours composing an email invitation to people who personally reached out to me for an application for membership. Does this make me a perfectionist? I think that’s too simple of a word. I am exacting. I heard that somewhere and instantly resonated with it. All this time I’ve been told I’m “difficult” and “defensive” when talking about my work, but it’s really that I spend so much energy crafting even the slightest detail. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that if you’re going to critique me, that you take the time to notice the fullness of my deliberations.

Even in an email, every word must function as I intend it to, no more, no less. This is what takes so long. I know what I’m trying to say, but I am constantly editing for the possibility of unwanted interpretations. This is one of my weaknesses. I lose time trying to limit the likelihood that clarifications will be needed. This is because it’s so frustrating to have my carefully curated thoughts recklessly overwritten by someone who wasn’t listening deeply. Obviously though, I have been misread many times. I know; it happens. Language has the power to be mutable, even with the best of intentions.

Sometime in the middle of composing all the Workshop materials, creating the applications, and updating the website, I noticed that I kept speaking of this “we” that was facilitating this program. As if there was a roundtable of women–not the ones that counsel me in my head, but real people with their own minds– sitting here helping me weave all these parts together. I wondered if folks would think it weird that I was referring to myself as “we” in the workshop literature. But then I looked up, and there my munchkin was slamming his mushy, saliva-saturated, animal-crackered fingers onto the keyboard and deleting half a paragraph of something. I thought, this right here, this is the we.

I am reminded that this is how my work can exist, with my child free to move in and around it. It’s not a perfect science. It really is hard to pull away from this work when he’s run out of patience for me. This collaboration is constant compromise. I keep promising him as soon as this expanded workshop is off the ground we’ll resume storytime at the library, play dates, walks to the park, dance jams with his toys, and more singing throughout the day in our made-up languages.

I tell myself he understands, that he can feel the momentum that mommy is brewing something beautiful for humanity. But I can’t know all his thoughts. These imaginings are really just the hopes I breathe in to get me through the rough days. The hours stacking heavily one on top of the other, when with all I’ve managed to create with my brilliant ideas for the world, I wonder at how great the cost has been in disappointments and forfeited laughter for my munchkin. This is all part of the work, I am learning again and again.

The munchkin, in all his 16-month glory, is my CBO– Chief Baby Operator. He’s right here watching mommy figure out how to serve more and more mothers, women, and artists. He’s smiling at me and lightening the mood when I’m tangled up in which vocabulary to use. He’s erasing stuff that I write, and forcing me to do revisions galore. He’s making me stop to eat and drink water, because he never forgets that he needs to eat and drink. He’s so much bigger now, and so when we nurse I can’t multitask as much depending on our position. He’s the reason I have to go slower, even when I feel I should be going faster. He’s makes me take a second look at things. He sparks great ideas and doesn’t even ask for any credit. He’s indispensable to my process. We really couldn’t do this without him.

Wishing my beautiful people abundant blooms & a happy new year!

And please check out the exciting evolution of the New Mommy Writers’ Workshop. Membership is now open!

~~~

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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