Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Expecting | Dear Baby

Dear Baby,  

On Friday we had our 30 week check-up.  The midwife listened to your heartbeat and told us, "Sounds like a happy baby."  I can only imagine that's the truth as you've got one happy Mama, and we're sharing this body of mine (which is getting rounder by the day, as you get bigger by the day).  As I write this, your Papa is out mowing the lawn.  We have the sweetest smelling air out here at your Grandpa Bob's house--with that wall of honeysuckle in the back yard, and the rose bush under our bedroom window, and now all this fresh cut grass.  I cannot wait for the Spring when your little fingers, though still pudgy, will be dexterous enough to carefully extract the nectar from a honeysuckle bloom, just one single drop for your finger tip or tongue.  We'll make honeysuckle tea, you and me, and maybe even rub the blooms against our neck like your Papa rubs rosemary sprigs and patchouli leaves against his.  

It's nearly summer, Baby, which will bring blackberries and barbecues and birthdays (yours and mine, both, and your Aunt Sierra Dawn's and Grandpa Bob's as well).  I'm too eager to speed up the clock.  

With love always, Mama

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Photo Journal, no. 57 | Long Weekend

Capt. Woodrow on the daybed in the in-progress baby's room; he thinks he's camouflaged.

Wolfman's migraine cure: feverfew tea in a TARDIS mug.

Playing with a new table setting.

Found in my father-in-law's office.

Preparing some snail mail for sending.

In-progress sacred writing space.

A lot of time spent on the back deck this weekend.

Thorn Rex

Xena Warrior Princess

Lunchbox, demonstrating his rolling technique, showing how he earned the nickname Stinky Naked.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Photo Journal, no. 56 | Mothers Day

Michelle, 28 weeks pregnant, and Grandma with a flower in her hair

We took Grandma to brunch (er, lunch, actually) at the Hibernian again this year, like last year.  We seem to do all the family gatherings and monumental moments of coupledom at that little Irish pub whose authenticity is, as with all Irish pubs, suspect.  (However, as cabbage is served with breakfast, that's Irish enough for me.)  This year, we met Wolfman's mom, Sandra, and her husband Tommy as well.  I don't know about Wolfman, but I sure did enjoy myself, and I think the grand/moms did, too.  Sandra told us that when Wolfman was born he was a no-neck ham.  Days later, I'm still giggling over her word choice.  She also told us about coming home one day to find all the doors on her kitchen cabinets removed after some little man received his first tool kit as a gift; he was testing his screwdriver.  

I relish these tales.  Because, as I've mentioned, I do have an inkling I'm carrying a boy child, but also because even if we have a girl, she'll be like him.  (After all, didn't his niece get  suspended for bringing her new pocket knife to school and showing it off at recess, proud as a peacock?)  I don't know much about my man's childhood--I haven't seen too many photos and his stories are never specific enough to satiate me.  It's a delight, too, to watch Wolfman and his mama in the same room.  His character and nature may be his dad's, but I can thank his mom for his good looks and that absurd, wicked sense of humor.  Her eyes glimmer; I'm not sure I had ever witnessed that on a live person, had only read about it in books, until I met her.  

Next year will be my turn to be brunched and saluted.  To tell the truth, I cannot wait.  I'm already planning what I want--a trip to a berry patch and maybe a homemade strawberry pie while I put my feet up on the porch and drink sun tea?  Here's to next year.

Sandra & Wolfman

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Opossum Magick


Dear Grandma,

This morning on the drive to work, I saw an opossum sitting on a chain-link fence circling a construction site, impassively watching the traffic on Six Forks Rd.  I drew the opossum card from my animal spirit/medicine deck the other morning (the one from New Mexico you found at Goodwill) and had been sitting on that message, letting it digest these past few days.  The accompanying book spoke on opossum teaching us to strategize, but when I think on the opossum, it is on a more patient, taciturn creature.  I remember that early morning at the newly-wed bungalow, before the sun had risen, after setting food on the back porch for the cats, finding an opossum helping him or herself to the feast.  But in particular, I think of that moment when I opened the door and knelt down to the creature's level, how it looked me in the eyes when I asked, "Hey, what are you doing?" and then turned and waddled away, in no hurry whatsoever, utterly unruffled.  I almost expected to hear it say laconically as it left, "yeah, yeah..."  The image of today's plump, wiry critter sitting on a fence sandwiched between two scenes of human noise and manipulation only solidifies the definitions I’d been drawing vaguely myself. 

I’ve begun reading Birthing from Within, which I think a nice palate cleanser after witnessing, and being a little frightened by (I’ll be honest) Sierra’s birthing of Ella.  Birthing from Within instructs to purge pre-conceived notions and fears, all these anxieties surrounding pregnancies and birth which build over a woman’s life time, and turn inward.  Turn off the mind, trust the body.  Acknowledge that complications occur, that birth is not in your control, and become unflappable in the face of that.  Just do as your body instructs and let go.  Maybe this is all connected?  The opossum watching that which it cannot change and adapting, finding a good spot on a man-made observation post before shuffling to its day-time hiding place?  

The one truth that, paradoxically, gives me more comfort than anything else is that I can't do anything about this now, right?  I mean, this baby is coming out whether I worry over it, dread it, plan it to death, or not.  I might as well relax a little and let my body do its work.  The first women knew nothing of cervix dilation or calorie counting.  They just surrendered to their bodies.  They ate what felt right to eat, they breathed when they needed to breathe, they squatted and pushed when their bodies gave the green light.  And here we are, the human race.  And also, the opossum race.

an excerpt from a letter to my Grandma I began scribbling this morning

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