First times in a year

This past year I learned many a lesson as most of us do. I was propelled forward in a new pathway towards becoming a mother. I taught students, I learned what may come, and I healed, by releasing my fears.

Life is what you make of it, and in this year especially, I have learned what this truly means. It boils down to one word: Time.

Time is of the essence when you give birth to a little one. It seemingly ticks by slowly at first, but then suddenly two seasons have passed and your little one is literally crawling through life. It flashes, like bursts of light.

Flash, flash, my thoughts land on a memory…crystalized in my mind’s eye. Two eye lids, fluttering lashes, one tiny nose, and two small fists slowly uncurling along his mouth.

This memory helps me slide into the vault of best kept experiences this year. Most of them firsts, naturally, with the introduction of our first child. I sift through the pictures and suddenly these, “firsts,” come into view…

The first time I felt a complete baby roll in my tummy, the first time I could not get out of bed until I rolled sideways, the first time I identify with turtles, completely but in reverse shell to tummy placement, the first time I felt contractions hit and knew that life would never be the same again, the first time I heard my baby cry, the first time I held him close, the first time he nursed with me, the first diapers, the first daddy hugs, the first cries where panic set in but I did not relinquish to the fear in my tummy, the first time I saw my parents as grandparents to our child, the first time he looked at me, the first time he smiled, the first time he sat up, the first time he reached for me, the first giggles, the first time I left our babe for work, the first separation feels of mommy baby heart tugs, the first time he laughed with us, the first time he crowed for his fur sisters, the first time he clapped, the list is a long endless one of beauty and gifts from life.

There was never a time that I truly felt as raw, as out of control, and as completely content as I did this year. Surrendering to the unknown is utterly frightening and also comforting. The realized I did not have to feel in control any longer, and that there was no room for manipulation of choices with the time I am allotted. I learned to withdraw from the desire to control completely, focus on my breath, and see the scene with fresh eyes.

The gift of tomorrow sheds new light upon today. The sky has opened up, blueness poured forth and the light crept in whilst I typed. The babe stirred, and the dog yawned, time began to click again, slowly but surely, a steady rhythm always balancing out the the days and the light. Renewed opportunity lies ahead. Go forth and obtain your firsts. A bouquet full of them awaits.


Nursing book club

When our son was born I had no idea what nursing would entail. Like many ventures in life, my motto was: take it one day at a time. Then days became weeks and weeks became months. I realized how much bonding time it was with not only my son, but also myself.

At about one month of age, I decided to start a new goal along with breast feeding, a reading goal. I lacked time, and stamina once baby was sleeping, to focus on reading. I needed to find a time when I was am to concentrate and could enjoy reading. I also realized what a better use of my time it was to read while feeding my baby versus wasting time on social media.

I started out by picking up, A Dog’s Purpose, and found myself glancing at our dog Kimmy who was always by my side. What was she thinking? I would wonder, as she curled herself in behind the rocking chair while LDB napped in my arms.

Next up was, My Grandmother Told Me To Tell You She’s Sorry. I felt a strong connection to the narrator. Perhaps it was her spunk or lack of tact, but she reminded me of someone. I could never put my finger on it. Perhaps it was a combination of many children I had taught all rolled into one glorious creation of a fictional character.

Following that up with the next novel was a startling contrast, but great read none the less. The Alice Network, painted a world I had known little of. Set during WWI France the web of characters, strong heroines and unlikely combinations of people, I was enthralled with the plot from start to finish. Albeit it intriguing, there were parts of this novel I found challenging to read, especially descriptions of pain or torture. I found myself wondering about the next part each time I put the book down.

I made the smooth transition out of WWI and into WWII with, The Clockmakers Daughter. One of my favorite authors is Kate Morton. I always feel so connected to her characters that they seem almost tangible to me. Whispering voices of a cast running through my mind, I closed the last chapter and was ready to read more. My mom and I agreed that perhaps there will be more to it? Time will tell.

I made a swift shift into the decade of the 1990’s, set in the Middle East in the next novel, Reading Lolita in Tehran. Currently I am engaged in reading of this book club of book clubs, I feel ever grateful to be a woman who does not live under a totalitarian regime.

I took a brief pause on that book to start and end, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I can say I am in love with Dawsey and the whole of the island itself. I would take an excursion there in a heartbeat, and I can still hear Juliet’s narrative voice in my head.

It’s back to the streets of Tehran for now, and many more books rise on the horizon. I thank my baby, and my body for allowing us this simple time to bond, read, and nourish body and soul with love and literature.

Perhaps I’ll inspire you to pick up a new book? You can always find a few minutes here, or there. 📚