Saturday, October 29, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
I sat in her rocker,
buried in a mound of stuffed animals and books
and reading The Very Busy Spider,
something struck her fancy and
she began to laugh.
And laugh and laugh.
I caught it upon contact,
the laughter, and there we were
like two birds squawking on a branch,
seamless in our feathered delight.
As the sky faded to a reflective black
in the window behind us,
I could no longer tell where her laugh
ended and mine began.
Jesse was just outside the door,
sitting and listening
until we were quiet again
and we had exhausted ourselves into
two sighing heaps.
He said: It was like the most beautiful song
I have ever heard!
So here's a day to celebrate all the
precious kiddos out there
as well as all the adults who
are along for the dynamic and
Love to you all,
Heather, Jesse and Opal
**This was the email that was sent to family and friends
on Opal's Birthday, October 22, 2009.**
Friday, October 21, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Here I sit.
The blessed maple, currently a pungent shade of salmon, undulates in the wind out front as if it were trying to make it home after an evening of spiked punch. It changes drastically in hue this time of year as if to celebrate our wedding anniversary and Opal's birth, as if it gets all dolled up in streamers and boas and blushes from head to toe in honor of the occasions.
Once early November rolls around, it will decide it's had enough and abruptly shed its adornments and be left standing there so vulnerable and bare-barked like a naked man in a heap of discarded clothes.
But at the current moment, it is still fully clothed and filtering paper-diffused sun through the front window-box, shadows of dancing leaves scattered across the carpet like playing cards.
Today was the official due date in 2009, which means Opal will turn two in 5 short days. Hallelujah.
I decided to look back through some of my old pregnancy writings—of which there are multitudes—and stumbled across this journal written 10 days before the due date. It has inspired me to look back more thoroughly through that 10-month almanac of growing a child, to perhaps edit and compile those pieces in a more cohesive way to share with others.
For now, I will share a brief excerpt from my internal world at 38.5 weeks pregnant:
What to say? I’ve got two animals curled up like cinnamon rolls on their respective chairs. Day three of being home from work and I must admit I am getting used to this. The maple out front is a citrusy shade of blood orange, only a few degrees from its final encore of psychedelic pink. I am feeling pretty weak at the moment and I honestly thought I would’ve had a baby by now!
No intention of rushing things over here, of course. I know this will happen in its perfect time. We are now ten days away from the official due date of October 17th and I have always intuitively felt that she would come early but who knows exactly what that means.Last night was interesting. I became very shaky after dinner and had to lie down in the bed.
At which point I was instantly out of breath—simply from lying there. I melted into the covers, yawning deeply, eyes watering, and sincerely felt as if I was not physically able to get up and change out of my clothes. It was as if every muscle in my body was working intensely on other projects sent from higher management.
At one point, I decided to climb into the tub. My upper back ached and I asked Jesse to pour warm water on it, drape a washcloth over it, as I sat there, breathing audibly. I felt more like animal than human, all body and sensation with very few thoughts and a quiet internal world.
I just continued to breathe and lead my mind to consider Bigger things. The cottony sky of this time of year. The ocean and its rhythmic lapping. The earth and its rotation towards the sun and away again, boundlessly comforting in its predictability. The bulb of Moon that, when full, floats slowly into the darkness of night like a balloon on a string.
I wanted to dissolve into dust on the lens of such majesty. That way, Trust would not even need to be a conscious decision, it would be inherent. Leaves don’t need to decide that falling is the right thing to do. They don’t need to be convinced each year that they will reappear in the spring.
Again, I felt better once morning came. But I suspect one of these mornings very soon, the discomfort wont subside—the animal panting, the groans, the reorganization of organs like furniture in a room—until I am left holding a beautiful baby girl in my arms.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
I wanted to sincerely apologize for something I said this morning.
When you mentioned that your parent-friends said the first 3 months of the baby's life are the hardest, I said something like "it's not all that hard."
Why I said that, I'm not quite sure.
What I meant to say—and perhaps it would've come out better if we were in a different environment—was that there's just SO MUCH MORE TO IT THAN THAT.
Sure, the first few months will be full of WTF?! and HOW DO WE DO THIS?
and you will feel like you are inventing the wheel on a moment-by-moment basis.
But you will totally ROCK and be continuously amazed by what you are capable of
AND you will have this child in your arms, this precious brilliant little being who is reaching for you and who allows you to experience love so deeply and so profoundly that your insides feel as if they've been flipped inside out and hung to dry in the sweetest breeze.
It is the farthest thing from easy to be a parent, no matter what the age.
Matter of fact, I wrote a trilogy of blogs last month about Opal's intense toddler-oppositoning and our numerous, unsuccessful, attempts at discipline.
There were many mornings I wanted an escape and I was flat-out exhausted a lot of the time.
And yet, she continued to amaze us and make us laugh with the funny, genius shit she says and she continued to bring her unbearable light to our days even while we went through that intense patch.
Frankly, you will be able to roll with whatever comes your way—easy days, hard days, and every goddam thing that comes in between.
Some days gracefully and some days not so much.
(Acceptance, self-forgiveness and self-trust in parenting are all things I will continuously be learning and working with until the day I die.)
But I guarantee for those first few months and beyond when people ask you both how it's going, there will be a dozen other words IN ADDITION TO 'hard' that will also be in your description, including—but not limited to—WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW.
Not easy. Insanely rewarding.
I hope this made sense.
It was bugging me to feel like I left it this morning saying parenthood is a bowl of cherries and a box of chocolate and nothing else.
In fact, in my experience, parenting is proving to be a bowl of cherries and a box of chocolates and EVERYTHING else.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Parents who rely on any of the three above approaches to solve a discipline problem may find that their child's behavior improves, but only temporarily. Without a secure grounding in parent-child attachment, the other discipline approaches are merely borrowed skills, communication gimmicks, techniques that are grabbed from the rack and tried on in hopes of a good fit....With a firm grounding in a connected relationship, a parent can use the other three approaches to discipline (authority, communication and behavior modification) in a balanced way...but when these techniques don't work, you need to fall back on a deeper understanding of your child.