Skip to content

the post that rambles from one thing to another

September 12, 2010

I’m warning you that this is especially stream of consciousnessesque tonight. There’s a point somewhere if you bear with me, reader.

I ran across this photo recently in my Flickr archives, and I realized it was exactly one year ago from yesterday.

It’s so weird when I look at that person.  I mean even looking past the beach ball of a belly and the swollen cheeks and feet, I feel so different than I did then.  I also recently stumbled on this video, Reflections of Motherhood, posted on Facebook and a few blogs, and it made me think about what my answer would be.  What  would I tell my pre-child self? I don’t know if it’s simple enough to be on a poster or not.  There’s so much I’d like to say to her.

________________________________

I’d probably tell her that things don’t always go like you want them to, but sometimes that’s okay because you are writing your own story and it’s a work in progress. I’d surely not tell her about how things would unfold or how hard the beginning would be for us because really – what would that accomplish except dread?  I would remind her though, that in the end, your story can be your own even if it feels like someone else is writing it and you are not in control at all.

I’d tell her that she might never sleep again, but it would be okay.  That she’d be pooped on and it would be okay.  That she’d screw up sometimes and it would be okay.

I would be sure to tell her to remember every second.  To soak in the new baby smell. To hold him without guilt or apologies because those weeks are so precious and pass too quickly.  I’d tell her how unbelievable it is that this tiny thing can make her feel so real, so loved. I’d spoil the surprise and tell her that he will have his dad’s grin and her eyes.

I’d tell her that she’ll quit her job like she knew she would, but that she wouldn’t really miss it at all like she thought she would.  That there aren’t many things in life more important than this.  Than now. The contentment will surprise her, and those stop-always-wanting-more and bloom-where-you-are-planted things that she’d never been good at will actually finally happen and they will feel so good.

________________________________

If I ever get the nerve for another tattoo, it will be William Blake’s “Rise and drink your bliss.  For all in life is holy.” It’s a quote that has always struck a chord for me, and there are these moments in life when you are bathed in holiness it seems.  They are always the simple ones. It’s usually my unexpected moments when I say So this is it. This is what it’s all about.

Eating a fabulous meal.  Lying on a beach alone for a minute to feel your body sink in the sand and relax.  Having one of those connected moments in a conversation when you make eye contact as you laugh at the same thing.  Talking over margaritas with friends at a sunny sidewalk table.  A road trip where you stare out the window and realize you’re totally comfortable with silence in the conversation.  Seeing a beautiful place for the first time.  Making dinner with a glass of wine in hand while garlic sizzles in a pan and there’s Van Morrison or Marvin Gaye on the speakers.

_____________________________

These things happen when you aren’t expecting them. They happen often.  But some burn their place in memory more than others. I remember one of these moments when I took a post-graduation trip with a college roommate to the beaches on the gulf, and we somehow ended up staying another day and then just another, and soon we thought maybe we should extend the trip through the weekend.  In the end, I don’t even know how long we managed to postpone real life and ignore adulthood and responsibilities and other grown-up things.  One night we found ourselves at the birthday party of a friend of a friend of a friend at an old beach house with a great porch and a perfect breeze.  We listened to a bluegrass band have an impromptu session with some jazz musicians we’d met while we waited on the roasted chicken to finish.  I remember thinking I wished I could freeze life right there, smelling dinner in the oven, surrounded by friends old and new.  I wanted that moment, not a year or a month or an hour in any direction. Right here.  I thought, this is happy.

One other of these moments happened when I was in Paris two years ago.  We went out for dinner, shared wine and champagne with friends, and at the end of our meal, I made room for creme brulee.  When we walked back to the Metro station, we passed the Eiffel Tower all lit up for Bastille Day celebrations. I was wearing a dress I loved, had a stomach full of food and wine, was breathing in Paris and standing next to the man I love.  Again, I said, This.  Pause. This is happiness.

I had another one of these moments riding on a ferry from Nantucket to Hyannis with Scott last summer.  The weather was glorious.  I was eating fudge and drinking iced tea.  The woman next to me had a book in her lap and her lazy Golden Retriever on a leash lying on the deck of the boat.  The sun was strong, but the breeze was just enough to need my cardigan.  I remember feeling the tiny legs kick my belly from somewhere inside, and that little kick-kick was telling me, “Hey.  In case you don’t notice already. This is beautiful and life is grand.”

__________________________________

These little moments that remind us life is precious, they are only getting richer and more common for me.  And that’s what I think that woman in the picture could not even imagine.  No, they don’t burst forth as I stumble in for a 2 a.m. feeding or clean a messy diaper.  Those tasks might not be remarkable, but there’s so much more that is.  Because seeing life through little eyes makes happiness more unfiltered, more potent than anything else for me.  It’s not that a baby is the only way to be happy, or even the best way, but for me it’s what best allowed me to understand that the beauty in life, the Life in life comes in tiny, unassuming moments. Motherhood boils everything down to the bare essentials, and those things that mattered before, now they don’t really take up that space in my consciousness, so all that’s left is room to drink in The Happy till I’m almost sick on it.  I’m so grateful for that, for little eyes that encourage me to live life in a big way.


17 Comments leave one →
  1. September 13, 2010 7:53 am

    Excellent post! I find the feeling of contentment that comes with a child just staggering. It seemed like I was always restless and reaching before Greyson came along. Certainly I still have plenty of goals, but I can sit back and just be happy now, too.

  2. September 13, 2010 7:54 am

    I wrote about you on blog today, by the way. :)

  3. Tami permalink
    September 13, 2010 9:17 am

    Darn it. You made me get teary eyed at work. I couldn’t have said it better. You know I have been all about fall lately, and this is why. When I sit on my sofa and look out the window to see a more golden hue to the sunlight, I always think back to when Caleb was just two weeks old. My first days alone with him. I remember looking out the window and soaking in that golden hue. My life got “perfect” the day Caleb was born. The leaves changing color, the scents in the fall air….all remind me of those first few weeks with him. I remember taking him on walks around my neighborhood in his stroller (if you could call the waddle I was doing a walk…darn stitches.) and just breathing in the fresh air and having my happy moments! THIS is why I now love fall.

    • September 13, 2010 10:17 am

      So true, Tami. I am more sentimental about the season this year, and I am guessing that’s why.

  4. September 13, 2010 9:42 am

    I have nothing to say except Thank You. I really, really needed to read this today. Sometimes when life is a whirlwind and I’m caught up in the middle of it I forget to take a moment and just breathe it all in. Thanks for reminding me to do that today!

  5. Cathy permalink
    September 13, 2010 10:38 am

    Oh man, I needed to read this today too. It’s easy to forget these moments when faced with challenges. :)

  6. September 13, 2010 12:32 pm

    such a pretty post, lady.
    i’m going to have to find those little moments outside of motherhood, but i love reading about how you’re finding them within it. :)

  7. Barrie permalink
    September 14, 2010 9:26 am

    Katie,

    This has been one of my favorites. I’m sitting in my classroom and lucky that I’m alone, because you brought tears to my eyes–in the good sense:)

    • September 14, 2010 1:26 pm

      Awww. You are part of this one, Barrie. I was thinking there is so much I could write about those weeks at the beach that year. It was the same trip we learned that “life is a midget, man” which kind of applies to this post, but I was afraid it would get too rambling and confusing if I introduced that character. :)

  8. September 15, 2010 10:14 am

    You’ve got a cute baby bump!! I have given you a blog award! Have a great wednesday. If I can stop by later to read you post I will….kinda in a hurry right now, but want you to know I think your blog is awesome!!!

    Heather from Mommy Only Has Two Hands!

  9. September 16, 2010 6:24 pm

    Now you’ve gone and made me all weepy! This is such a beautiful post. Being pregnant with Atticus has made be reflect on my pregnancy and parenting with Hope. It seems that Hope was a baby just yesterday and yet the time has slipped by so fast. Now she is worried about getting her period, her silly band collection, and making friends…. but it seems like yesterday I was breathing in her peachy baby smell.

    My goal with Atticus is to slow down and appreciate each day. I was so eager to experience the excitement of Hope learning new things and growing and I feel like i should have slowed down a bit.

    Hugs to you and Jude!

  10. November 6, 2010 8:49 pm

    Beautiful post, Katie. Doesn’t motherhood just CHANGE you? It’s a gorgeous shift though, isn’t it?

    • December 16, 2010 12:35 pm

      {and now I just clicked over from The Gypsy Mama and didn’t realize it was you until I started reading!}

      Again: beautiful post!

      a

  11. December 16, 2010 10:01 pm

    Beautiful. Just as I imagine it to be for me one of these days.

    Just came over from The Gypsy Mama & I thought I’d say hi. :)

  12. December 16, 2010 10:54 pm

    Stopping by from The Gypsy Mama and just had to tell you 1. You look great in that pregnancy shot and 2. that is one of my favorite Blake quotes ever. Tattoo worthy for sure!

  13. December 17, 2010 10:32 am

    Live life in a big way…love it!

  14. December 17, 2010 12:25 pm

    oh man. this post rocked me. [and those blue eyes on your baby go on for days! goodness!]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57 other followers

%d bloggers like this: