fine. I’ll give up the ghost. I’m still blogging, just back on my “other blog.” Bethbrownables.tumblr.com.
Hope to see you there soon. More words, maybe less about babies. But the whole story.
Hey, all. I’m here—we’re all here, actually. Mr. Ables is grading and listening to Iron and Wine’s new one, Nola is swaddled and sleeping in her swing, and Silas is cuddled up in his crib down the hall.
That sounds just about right, doesn’t it?
To zoom out a bit, there are four piles of laundry to be folded (or stuffed—one’s a pile of cloth diapers), which probably explains my sudden urge to blog.
But I miss the reflection/sharing aspect of this space. I write more in my “real” journal these days, and I know that must make my lack of Nola-words here seem so unbalanced after my gratuitous over-sharing (redundant?) with Silas’ babyhood.
I guess, in some way, Silas was for everyone (including me) and Nola is only for me. I long to be selfish because I know how fleeting it all is. Her smiles her scent her newness is for me me me. Maybe I just am over the whole “look at my baby” thing.
That’s not true, either. Peek at my Instagram and you know it.
So here’s some things about life lately:
Nola smiles just like her father: dimples and eye crinkles.
She’s made someone cry because of her cuteness.
Her hair is staying strong.
I sometimes forget to bathe her for a week. (!!)
She rolls from her belly to her back like no big deal.
Her laugh is deeper and more resonant than Silas’ babylaugh.
Saturday marked her four month birthday. Four months! An absolute blur.
She’s ticklish under her chin.
Just like her sweet namesake, she is easy going and (I’d like to think) down to earth.
She’s peed and/or spit up on just about every relation and loved one.
I want her to know one day that as she grew within, it seemed that she brought forth in me a fervent desire to create. She ushered in a new season of my life—not just of being a mother of two, but I’ve gained new friendships, new confidence, new faith.
I’ve never been like this before. Of course not. The morning she was born I played Gungor’s song “Beautiful Things” on repeat. The chorus/chant “You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of dust” looped in my head for her first days.
Indeed beauty comes from the simplest elements. I, in so many fragile ways, have found myself ground into my most basic self and am finding a gorgeous newness springing forth.
No coincidence in this season. Praise praise up and up.
My world, it seems, moves at a pace that makes the past six weeks not a blur, but a smudge of time. A thumbprint smearing.
Wasn’t it just Christmas?
And here it is February 7th and I’m just sitting down to type a little about life with my daughter Nola. And though I have thought of blogging before this, so many more things have priority over blogging, which is just as it should be.
Sadly, and happily too, my mantra these days has become “is it worth it?” Meaning “do I need to go to the grocery store?” “Does my hair need to be washed?” “Do I have time to…” It’s all measured out into necessities.
I’m trying to embrace simplicity in a new way: to enjoy my home and not bow to the need to escape for a cup of coffee (which means passing by my nice cofffeemaker and burr grinder on my way out the door) or window shopping or mindless Target runs. I’m trying to spend time playing with Silas, introducing him to shapes and letters and puzzles and art.
Note the word trying. There are days where I weep with exhaustion (read: whine to Mr. Ables) and realize I haven’t left the house in two days, haven’t bathed in the same amount of time…I am a refugee from my old life, figuring out where I belong in this new sphere of motherhood.
Dramatic? Yeah, it’s me.
But my days do speed past at an alarming rate. I wake in the morning and find myself on a motorized pathway of sorts (keep all hands and feet inside the moving vehicle): get Silas from his crib, change his diaper, put him in clothes (otherwise he’ll be in pajamas the rest of the day), steer him to the kitchen, cut up a banana for him to eat while I scramble his egg, (He always asks for “tst” or toast—he’s my child with his passion for all things bread), meanwhile sweet Nola is waking up fierce with hunger screwing up her face and voice into a full-on yell of “hello? what about me over here?"
Feed him, feed her, change them. Watch him play, keep him away from her, realize I’m hungry, then she’s hungry again and then it’s his lunchtime and she’s fussing and then it’s his naptime and then she needs to eat again…
Do I sound miserable? Well, sometimes I am.
But the glory of all of this blur and this service and this WORK is that I find so much gut-wrenching JOY in it all. I mean, I can do this and I GET to do this and in the meantime the old me shaves away in hard particles of laziness, greed, and discontent. I simply don’t have time for it anymore. And as all of that pares away, I glimpse the woman at the core of me—and she’s not half bad.
She might not have clean hair, or a perfect home, or a novel in the works—but she’s whole, she’s growing, she’s true.
If this is what motherhood is meant to do, I’m in. If the product of these sleepless, helpless, bleary days are children who are joyful and loved…I’ll take it.
I’m not losing myself in all of this either, I am finding who I really am. The flint and steel bone and sinew raw self of Me.