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Wednesday’s Bloom: Textual Portraits of a New Mommy

72 weeks | Glimpse | no. 0066

In these few words I will attempt to give you a glimpse of the moment at hand. I have decided to squeeze Wednesday’s Bloom into the munchkin’s nap today. When he awakes, this post will end. That’s where we are today.

My throat is sore. Or I should say, I’ve been tending the munchkin’s cold and I’ve managed to take on some part of its existence myself. Probably the lost hours of sleep contributed to the effortless transferral of all things stuffy. Also it’s cold season in this part of the world. Not that we’ve been many places at all in the past few weeks, though. Did I mention it’s been cold?

I’ve gotten to know several taxi cab drivers. One, an elderly Haitian woman, was full of spirit. She told us we must be rich. When she picked us up from the hospital ER entrance to take us home, she asked if the baby was okay. We told her all was well, so she said that meant we were rich. It was an instant shift in perspective. We’d been counting every dollar spent, feeling a little guilty splurging on cab fare to avoid waiting at bus stops in the sub-zero temperature with our cranky, hungry, feverish bundle of joy. But then we were like, it was worth it. You just have to be good to yourself sometimes.

Tomorrow I have to facilitate a movement workshop for youth. Yesterday I got an email from the program coordinator informing me that the young people had recently experienced a tragedy at their school and could I somehow weave a space for self-expression into the dance. That’s what I always aim to do anyway, but the thought of walking into a potentially very raw grief space with youth I don’t know very well has me fumbling over what to devise in my green-with-gold-polka-dots planning book that I use for all things creative. I really just want to present the dance as a way of creating space when it feels like we have no space. I’m searching for a way to communicate the value of cultivating such awareness in the body, especially at times of great sadness or transition.

Munchkin snores loudly as he nurses in my arms. This sound, I realize, is like a prayer for peace finally answered. We are going through our own transitions too. He is beginning to self-wean and to night-wean. I’ve depended so much on my breastmilk to be the cure-all for everything. But we are traversing new territory. Some moments I am all out of ideas of what to offer him to soothe him when he doesn’t want the breast. And the cold and the teething only make the guesswork that much more complicated. I know this is a phase, that we’ll find new rhythms, but it feels really uncomfortable. Like having to walk in shoes that are too tight and not quite broken in. These intermittent episodes when his busy toddler-self finds a brief respite at the breast are nice. It’s like a home we get to visit, even though we’re slowly outgrowing it.

This weekend the New Mommy Writers’ Workshop inaugural circle gathering is happening. My thoughts are also racing a mile a minute as I put together all the materials and workshop activities for this event. A very special group of women are coming together to hold this sacred space with me. We are, at the heart of it all, exploring the interaction of our mothering work and our creativity. That is something both complex and simple. I think ultimately this is the duality I am most eager to sustain throughout this experiment that is the Workshop. I think it’s profound that we are gathering. I think it’s also basic and very ancient for women to do this work together. I am asking myself, in these last quiet minutes before my munchkin rises again, how to shape a process that can hold this paradox with steady hands and a curious heart.

He wakes. The next adventure calls…

~~~

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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