Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

The birds and the bees – and the flowers and the dirt.

“Momma, can kids have babies if they kiss five times on the lips?”
“No, Love, kids can’t have babies.”
“But… I kissed Firecracker five times on the lips yesterday.”
I can hear Dearest snickering on the other side of the bedroom door, having dodged this existential bullet.
“You did? What was that like?”
“I dunno. But – can kissing make babies?”
“No Love. Kissing can’t make babies.”
It’s seven in the morning, we’re late for the schoolbus, and I’m trying to get both of us out the door without having had my coffee yet.
“But, how DO you make babies?”
Snowpants on, scarf wrapped, backpacks packed, I finally close the door behind us.
“Well, it’s like plants. You have to have the right conditions, like seeds, and soil, and nutrients. And you have to have the right timing – babies don’t just sprout all the time!”
Thank goodness for that.
“So, Mommies have flowers inside their bellies?”
“Kind of, yah!”
“But – how do the seeds get there?”
“Well, the Mommies have the eggs and the soil, and the Daddies have the seeds.”
“The Daddies have the seeds?”
“Yup! It takes a Mommy and a Daddy to make a baby. Mommies can’t do it only by themselves.”
“So… but… how does the Daddy get the seeds into the Mommy?”
“Momma? How do the Daddies plant the seeds?”
Caffeine-deprived brain whirring frantically. Use noisy traffic as an excuse not to speak for a moment. Buy more time crossing the street.
Aha! Got it!
“Well, when the Mom and the Dad make love, that’s when the seeds get planted, and if the timing is right – if you’ve got the right kind of luck, then the seeds mix together with the egg.”
“And then the egg hatches?”
Yes! Move on from the planting! Distract him with the eggs!
“Well, not quite. Mommies don’t lay eggs like chickens do!”
“So, then what’s the egg for?”
“Well, it’s what starts the baby. When the seeds and the egg mix together, and snuggle inside the Mommy’s belly, that’s when the baby can grow. Like when we start our seeds growing inside the house in the spring in a little tiny container of compost, and then when the little shoots are big enough and the weather’s warm enough, we transplant them outside into the dirt in the garden? Do you remember that from last year?”
“Well, we’ll do that together again this year, and you’ll see. That’s a lot like how a baby grows, except it stays inside the Mommy’s tummy the whole time.”
“So Mommies are like gardens?”
“Well… yah. I guess they are!”
“And Daddies are like… the farmers?”
Uh… some fine analogy you’ve dug for yourself there, Grace.
“Um, sure. Daddies are like farmers, they take care of the gardens.”
The schoolbus arrives, not quite in the nick of time.
Bonhomme greets Firecracker, giggling and bouncing. I wave goodbye to both cheerful faces pressed against the window. Chances are that tonight, Dearest will get asked when he’s going to plant his seeds in Mommy’s garden so that Bonhomme can have a baby brother. Or that Bonhomme will announce that he’s going to be a farmer when he grows up. Or that there will be a note from the teacher. Likely, all three.
A large coffee from Timmy’s today, I think.
Maybe two.


“Losing Me To You”

A trying day

This afternoon, during a particularly heavy mood slump, thinking I just was not going to be able to do a single productive thing – I looked up and saw that it was almost quitting time.
I felt a wave of relief.
Off the hook!
Most days, today in particular, are punctuated by unanticipated mids and lows (no highs – not yet).
I have fits of energy and focus, resulting in diagrams and notes and phonecalls and meetings – and then all of a sudden I don’t. The only consistent thing about my energy is its disappearance. It is reliably unreliable.
There isn’t much to be done about this.
During my ups, I tend to try to compensate, churning out as much as possible, knowing there’s a silent timer ticking, lurking, waiting to screech right when I’ve forgotten it’s there.
And then I kick myself, berate myself, deplore myself when it’s come. Time’s up.
But I was on such a roll a minute, an hour ago!
No more.
And so, I give in, and give up for the day. This is as far as I go, for now. There is always tomorrow.
It’s time to take my brave face home.

Those days

On those days –
those days where you lurch,
those days when only commitments and requirements and demands keep you going,
those days when your breath and sleep are shallow and aching is deep,
those days when peace is elusive and anxiety dogged –
on those days,
it’s OK to just sit.
To be late.
To be quiet.
To not get much of anything done.
On those days,
when you can’t for the life of you make a decision – don’t.
There are other days for that.
Bright days, light days, days that pass by in a blur.
When energy is so much at your beck and call that you don’t even realize it.
This is not one of these.
It is one of those.
So, make a cup of tea.
Have a cookie.
Delve into research, reading, charting, graphing.
Maybe writing.
Maybe not.
Maybe nothing measurable at all.
There will always be both kinds of days,
it can’t be helped.
On every kind of day, though, not everything has to be done the same.
Or, sometimes, at all.

And then there was me

Baby is gone.
I’m left, hollowed out.
Gone without so much as a murmur,
no sweet loving goodbye.
Just a trickle, and then a flood of blood,
enough to land me in the hospital for a while.
Baby’s gone, and all answers too.
Instead, I’ve got a muddle of feelings, questions, and long awkward silences.
We’ll try again, inevitably, although we both know that there is a limit to how many times.
How many times I can go through this –
This being left.
Left behind.

One Day at a Time

I’ve not written for a while.
I’ve had plenty to say, just nothing that I wanted to remember. My mind’s become my enemy again, careening from one low to another.
I’d hit a spot with my depression that vaguely resembled a plateau over the summer, with some rather rugged foothills all fall.
But now it’s steep slopes, with the occasional shocking drop.
There’s a reason for this hell, a good one.
A beautiful bouncing one.
I’m pregnant.
At long last.
It took about two weeks once our decision was made, so not so long technically speaking.
But a long time in getting here.
To the deep end.
After our experiences last time there was a baby involved, Doc and I finally came to understand the extent to which my depression is hormonally-triggered.
Which is the primary reason that the stretch between then and now has been so long.
But Dearest finally warmed to the idea of having a bigger family a couple of months ago, and I knew that there wasn’t going to be a better time, a good time, an adequate time any time soon.
So here we are.
Baby and me.
This is something that I have to trust I will eventually be happy about.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the outcome.
Just not the process.
Not losing all the progress I’ve made to get to the point where I could even try.
I’ve got nothing much to complain of, symptom-wise – many, most women have harder pregnancies than this one. Baby seems to be on my side.
It’s just my brain that isn’t.
Even knowing what I was likely getting myself into isn’t helping; depression saps my ability to look beyond the now, to lift myself out of the overwhelming awfulness and remember that it’s all for a very good reason.
A good cause.
Some day, smiles will come more easily.
This high-jacking era will be a distant blur; poignant.
The harsh truth is that I have to get through here to get to there.
We all do.
And that’s why we do this, why we volunteer our bodies, hearts and minds to this baby-making child-rearing campaign. This battlefront.
For tomorrow’s tomorrow.
It’s why we do anything in life, really, including the wars where we fight each other and not just ourselves.
As a pacifist, though, I’d really rather not fight any.
All I really want to do is paint, and sing, and maybe make some quilts, and cook really delicious food.
And sometimes, I get to.
Just not right now.
Now is my time for bearing.
And waiting for beauty to come back.