A Note On My Phone

Here’s a real life peak into all the thoughts that make their way into one Note on my phone. This is what one of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, calls the “shitty first draft.” Usually these thoughts get refined and reconstructured several times before being published on this blog, but in the spirit of keeping it real, enjoy the unorganized, unedited version.

I’ve been trying to find ways to keep myself busy. When I think Life is asking me to not be busy. To slow down. To be. With my son. And myself.

You know all my son wants is to be with us? To have us near? He knows nothing of this world and culture – he knows nothing of societal expectations or definitions or pressures. He knows presence. Nearness. He knows love. He doesn’t know that I just googled if hyperpigmentation that happens in pregnancy ever fades. He doesn’t know these dark blotches on my face aren’t “right”. He just knows my face. And how to kiss it. Everything he knows is everything I am trying to learn.

That presence. Is. Simply. Enough. Continue reading

The Mama In Me

There are few things I know about myself. I am working on this – I want to know myself better, more fully. But one of the things I know that I know that I know is that there is a Mama in Me. I just got finished watching an episode of Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday where the idea of identity came up. And how “child of God” is who we were when we came into the world and “child of God” is all who we will be when we leave this world. Oprah responded with the notion that that truth is some serious spiritual wisdom.

I felt a tightness in my belly; I disagreed. And disagreeing with Oprah feels like one of the more foolish things someone can do. But, I do. I disagree. Or maybe I believe there is more. That I did not come into this world as just a child of God. Unless “child of God” encompasses the Mama in Me. Continue reading

In This Moment

I wrote this out as a go-to for those moments in motherhood where I feel overwhelmed. The moments where I convince myself that I’m actually on the verge of a mid-life crisis, when really I’m only on the verge of my period.

I’ll let you know if this letter helps….next month. 

In This Moment…

I will remember that you are little and your feelings are big.
I will remember that I have big feelings too.

I will remember that you are capable of having bad days, bad moods; more than human moments and less than ideal moments.
I will remember that I am too.

I will remember that you may be having a hard time but you are not giving me a hard time.
I will remember that a hard time doesn’t mean a hard life.

I will remember what you do not know — like how to manage time and your emotions, and why naps are important.
And I will remember what you do know — like kisses, and safety, and that I am your person. 

I will remember that you the world is too big and not big enough for you – that your curiosity is your strength.
I will remember that letting go is my lesson.

I will remember that you know no other way than being close to me. 
I will remember that it is okay for me to step away for a moment to allow myself to come back more open for you for more moments.
I will remember that your closeness is a gift.

I will remember that in your crying there is still breath.
I will remember to breathe.

I will remember that you are learning.
I will remember that I am too.

I will remember that your wordless sounds and hard to hear tears are your only voice.
I will remember to listen.
I will remember that I have words and they must be soft.

I will remember that your innocence does not know guilt; only grace.
I will remember to accept grace. 

I will remember that it is my job to teach you that you are lovable and capable and kind and important and valuable.
I will remember that it is my job to teach you that you are good enough. 
I will remember that I am all of those, too. 

Good Friday.

I haven’t figured out if today, on Good Friday, is the day I feel the closest to Jesus. Or. If it’s the day I feel the farthest from him.

Regardless, it’s the day I ache the most for Jesus. Or maybe what’s more true is that it’s the day I ache the most with Jesus. If I am brave enough to believe I can be with him.

Good Friday is the Christian holy-day that marks Jesus’ crucifixion. It is the dark day — the day before we wait, two days before we watch death come to life. It is death’s anniversary. And anyone who knows death knows how awful the anniversaries are. The aches are always in the anniversaries.

The ache of absence. The absence of life. The presence of loss.

I sit with this day. This ache. And I long to mark it. To tell Jesus I feel it. And maybe what’s more true is I long to tell Jesus I feel him. If I am brave enough to believe I can feel him.

If I’m really honest, I long to mark this day in a church. Every year, I long for a church community to mark these three days with. I call myself a recovering Christian, which offends some and resonates with others. All I mean by that label is that I was raised in the church and came to use the religious structure of conservative Christianity like a drug. To numb me. To protect me. To harden me. To judge me. To do anything but love me. Even though they told me it was all about God loving me.

So slowly, but surely, I quit using church. And slowly, but surely, I started finding God.  Continue reading

Heart Work.

I have an ongoing list – partially jotted down, partially in my head – of all the things they don’t tell you about motherhood. It’s quite extensive and basically gets to the premise that before becoming a mother, one should try to mother a wild animal first. If you can bathe and diaper a wild boar, gracefully and with a fair amount of ease, you might be ready to mother. Maybe.

If you can then take a roadtrip with the clean wild boar, and answer all of its screams or oinks or snorts with love and affirmation, then you are definitely ready. Maybe.

Regardless of everything they don’t tell you, there is one thing they always tell you:

Mothering is hard work.

In our capitalistic, labor loving society, I took this as hard, physical work. Sure some babies may not start out heavy but they all become heavy before they are walking. And don’t even get me started on how heavy their damn car seats are. But even when they start walking, they are still like really short tiny humans. So you’ve gotta be hunched over holding their hands. And even when you’re rocking them to sleep and they are all precious and peaceful, you can’t not look at them. It’s impossible. Therefore so is avoiding a crick in your neck.

I was ready for that hard work. Not because I’m some sort of crossfit ninja warrior. I mean, I’m scrappy as hell, but I was ready because I had established care with a chiropractor and massage therapist.

But that’s not what they mean when they say “mothering is hard work”. They mean:

Mothering is heart work.

Continue reading