Saturday, August 27, 2011

My top 10

Ok, so I have a ridiculous amount of pictures of Bridger, thanks to the fact he is my first child, and thanks to the convenience of digital cameras. Although I could make a top 1000 list, here are some that touch my heart.

10. Seriously, that face?
9. There we go again, that face AND that TIE.8. We're a family.7. And oh those feet. Oh those toes. I just want to eat them.6. This reminds me of all the time I spent carrying Bridger, inside or out, close to my heart.5. His first easter basket and keen ability to destroy it.4. Even though he scoots me out of my bed space, and I am massively sleep deprived, I still love the mornings of waking up next to this.3. Hours upon hours upon hours of being physically assaulted while nursing my man.2. For the love of your toes1. And finally #1 favorite pastime, Eskimo kisses = a unequivocal love affair

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Self worth and motherhood

In the words of Benedict XVI: "The joyful love with which our parents welcomed us and accompanied our first steps in this world is like a sacramental sign and prolongation of the benevolent love of God from which we have come. The experience of being welcomed and loved by God and by our parents is always the firm foundation for authentic human growth and authentic development, helping us to mature on the way towards truth and love, and to move beyond ourselves in order to enter into communion with others and with God."

In the last two weeks, something has shifted from deep within me, and I am not talking about the chile verde I had last night. No no, something deep within my soul has opened me up to the little life I hold in my arms and attend to his every need for hours upon hours daily. The last few weeks of his life have been filled with many moments of exploring his little bodies abilities, eating toes, using his hands to grab any object in sight, exploring all these items in his mouth, patting hard surfaces, making funny shrieks, discovering new foods, getting new teeth. In this stage of increased mobility and aggresiveness from my little son, I have somedays felt mildy attacked after an earring pulled out, a scratch on my nose, and a little less hair. I have ofttimes felt a little resentful or bothered by his actions.

But then it happened, about two weeks ago came one of those AH HA moments, and suddenly my relationship to this litte man became clear. We were playing on the floor in the living room, I was doing my usual tactics to maximize giggles and smiles. I was eating his toes, his hands, making his favorite noises, and best of all tickling. In all the playfulness I suddenly realized with a greater amount of understanding and weight what my relationship really was too this little man. I felt reassured that undoubtedly he was my son. And more importantly I realized that beyond simply taking care of his physical needs, that my function in his life went far beyond a source of food. In that moment I realized that I was there for the most important reason of all: to build his self worth.

Wow, that realization hit me like a ton of bricks. A human's self worth. I mean, slow down, wow, this is big time stuff, self worth of another human! Nothing tops that in any job I have ever done, not hours of mopping floors, approving loans, teaching yoga, no nothing even comes close to this kind of work. And for the most part, in spite of the slight physical abuse I have undergone, I realize that more than any job in the past I have the single, most satisfying job that I could ever dream of: motherhood.

I feel overwhelmed that I have been entrusted with this little person, to love him, to nourish him, to protect them, and to build his self worth. I realized that every time he cries and needs me, every time I pick him up and hold him, every time I change his diaper, every time I feed him, every time I wake up in the middle of the night to care for him. Each and every time I respond to him, countless times a day, placing his needs over my own, that I create value of his worth, I let him know that he is of infinite value and he is loved. I remind him of the love he felt from his father in heaven. What small sacrifices I have to make countless times daily translates into a soul that is nourished physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I suddenly feel overwhelmed with the newly understood task at home. When was the interview? Are you sure I am qualified? Are you really sure I can be a good mother? Well that is yet to be determined, but I am sure going to give it my best. It is one job I can't screw up at, I must keep working to become better. God knows I can do it, so therefore I can.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Luxuries of a nursing mother

There are many things in my life I have taken for granted, enjoying them as everyday activities, never realizing that with a baby, they truly are the lap of luxury.
No longer will I take them for granted:

1. A shower, uninterrupted that is
2. A quiet meal, not scarfed down
3. Exercising (without a jogging stroller or bike trailor attached)
4. Shopping, alone that is
5. Practicing yoga or any hobbies uninterrupted
6. Reading quietly
7. Setting my own schedule
8. Cooking and baking
9. Folding laundry
10. Running Errands
11. Working
12. Having an uninterrupted adult conversation
13. Clean clothing, without spit-up all over
14. Sleeping through the night

Truth be told I like doing housework, chores, errands. I love all the things in which a woman excels, as it turns out I just didn't realize how much easier they were to do without a little one that needs your constant care. So it's a trade-off.
I certainly no longer excel at producing 15 doz cookies in one day to sell at farmers market, my laundry rarely gets folded before sitting in the dryer for a few days, and I no longer spend hours laboring over new creative meals. I don't run for as long as I want anymore, I don't spend hours reading my favorite book, and I don't teach 12 yoga classes a week.

But it's ok.

None of that matters.

None of it compares to what life is now: And I am so very...

very...
Very...very...ridiculously....Richly...incredibly...totally...extaordinarily...extremely...Beyond measure...infinitely...
blessed.

I am grateful each and every day for the lessons in selflessness.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A day on my knees

I know what you must be thinking right now, wow, she is right up there with Enos, spending the whole day in humble petition with the Lord. Truth is no I am not on my knees because I am in humble penitence. We can choose to be humble, or we are compelled to be humble.

Today I was the latter of the two, compelled to spend the day on my knees (and probably not just today). My options were simply this: rely on your husband or 5 month old baby to carry you to the potty in the middle of the night, get a catheter, or get on your hands and crawl to the toilet. So again I chose the latter option: to crawl. With two feet bruised badly enough that walking is not an option, the idea to crawl came like a stroke of genius in the night "sure you feet don't work, but hello YOU STILL HAVE KNEES!"

This much time spent on my knees has taught me many lessons. Spare me to share a few:

1. The lower size counters custom designed for midgets could have really come in handy for making dinner tonight, lucky for me I could still reach the fridge.
2. Rollerblading knee pads are a way better option than oven mits ace bandaged to the knees for protection from hardwood and tile floors.
3. Scooting on your bum also works helps when your knees get sore and tired.
4. Husbands do not like to be incessantly bossed around about 'how to do something' when you can't do it yourself.
3. Mind over matter people, if you really need to accomplish something, you can always find a way.
4. You get to see the world through a new set of eyes, similar to a small child or midget, and know what its like to be looked down upon.
5. You face the cold hard truth of how dirty your floor really are and inside the kitchen cabinets at hip level.
6. Functional feet are strongly unappreciated on a consistent basis.
7. For once a car ride was the only option in getting from point A to point B than running, walking or biking.
6. Pretty sure that walking on your knees burns way more calories than walking on you feet.
7. The list of essential to do's, really not as long as I make it.
8. Less is more.
9. Yoga truly can be adapted to suit all bodies, even ones without working feet.
10. It's a great reason to keep your husband home from work.
11. Living in the moment is better than anticipating the non return of useable feet
12. The world might be a more compassionate place if everyone spent a day on their knees.
13. Navigating a wheelchair = not as easy as it looks.
14. Being pushed in a wheelchair = really kind of fun.
15. You can laugh or you can cry but if you do them together it might come out your nose.
16. I still take this over how your body feels the day after giving birth.
17. Having injured feet does not affect my milk supply.
18. Less mobility = Less distraction and more quality time Bridger.
20. Asking for help from others, not as hard as I make it and sometimes absolutely needed.

Altogether I would mark this day as a success in the history books. In fact it was such a success I think I will give it a try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Simplicity

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" Leonardo Da Vinci

Of all people, really, Leonardo telling us to simplify? If his paintings are indication of simplicity than I wonder what my works would say about me. This week in the yoga classes I have taught I have shared this quote. Sometimes I feel like a hypocrite offering these words to others, when I myself have a hard time living them. But then I realize the words of inspiration are not from a perfect teacher, but someone learning each day. The longer I teach, the more I realize how little I really know...

Bridger and motherhood humbles me every day. As soon as I start to think I might know what I am doing, I realize very abruptly I don't. Today I am sitting here writing this post in my full motherhood glory: I haven't showered yet and its 4:50pm, I feel ready to explode from holding off going to the bathroom an hour too long, my undergarments are all twisted and bunched up and I'm too tired to fix them, I have a huge zit in the middle of my cheek and haven't covered it up, and I have Bridger dried pee on my shirt with some leftover cookie dough (something I actually did accomplish today).

Everyday I review my list of priorities to get done and figure out which one I can let go of. I tell myself it's ok, and then something happens. Somewhere in my mind I suddenly get feelings of inspiration that somehow, somewhere, extra time will manifest itself and I will be able to accomplish all the priorities plus the extras I thought I had to let go of. In my superpower strength I start more projects I could possibly finish, and then it comes. The needs of my baby override everything, right down to looking presentable, or being covered in pee or better smeared poo.
Today, I surrender, so there you go Leonardo, simplicity really IS the ULTIMATE SOPHISTICATION. Do you think he had pee and poo on him when he said that?

Every day I am humbled, not only because I realize my own inadequacies, but more importantly I have been blessed with the sweetest little boy on this earth. I can genuinely say he is the sweetest little man, he is my son, and I love him.
Nothing is simple about being a momma, no matter how I slice it or dice it, it is the work of sacrifice, patience, love, and it never really ends from one day to the next. But I can't go back, I wouldn't want to go back, to the way things use to be. Not when I look at my sweet baby,hear his giggles, laughing, and see his smile.