My urge to write is deep and nagging. I long to divulge like the books I bury myself in, hoping to drip in similar soliloquy and metaphor. I just don’t possess such abilities, be it I lack the imagination, right words or the experience, and thus the words I sting together sound hallow. Like those of a school girl bitterly writing her pained experiences of the heartaches of being a teenager, devoid of an aged knowledge, but rife with scorn and annoyance. (See how forced it is even when I try?)
There is little bitterness in my life right now, however. I am in a good spot. My mom journey is in a good spot. I am happy in this spot. I am comfortable in this spot. But it is in pains that I find I can do my best writing (though this is based on knowledge from my high school years, full of similar strife to what I previously referenced). Does sorrow still hold my best words, my best promise of a written creation? Or have I moved beyond that? Have I become something more?
I am unsure and at times unwilling to find out. My issues with the way I write, wishing it to be so much more than it is, stop me from pouring fingers onto keyboard clicks. I don’t truly know what to write, and I fear of sounding juvenile, of bringing to something a lack of meaning from a contently led life. I fear not knowing enough to truly write from lived knowledge, but rather bits and bots placed on paper made to make happy those who know my writing. Aimed to impress with overly used clichés, familiar heartache and the same old swoons.
But the satisfaction of those swoons quickly thaw, and I long for more. I long to be deeply understood. I long to pour all of me out, thin and transparent against the screen, and to then be carefully collected and embraced. I don’t truly know what there is of me inside this brain and body that doesn’t feel embraced or understood, however, but there lays a hunger — a dull ache of words having gone unsaid. Emotions not given their due right. Hope and fears diverted rather than divulged.
I want to follow that ache, to live it, to drown in it, to write it – and to come up from its depth with eyes wide open.
O’s childcare is slowly getting him used to being in the 3-5 room, as he will be moving to it in September (he will be getting a support worker to help him once he gets there, thankfully).
His impending move has slowly meant spending time with children significantly older than him. They all walk, run and are quite tall. Especially when you are stuck in the third percentile and essentially sitting nearly everywhere you go (with scooting being his main form of transportation). Sometimes, it can be scary when the world and everyone in it towers over you.
But, and this is what brings me to feel an overflowing abundance of joy, the 3-5s have started to notice this. In ways of empathy, acceptance and brilliance, they have realized that he needs people on his level. So, yesterday, they began to scoot with him. They sat on the ground with him. They played with him. All in ways where they could equally reach, interact and socially engage.
My heart aches at times to see O’s differences and the special rights that he needs. At times like these, however, it soars.
Respect him. Observe him. Listen to him. Ceremoniously slow. Wait. Breathe. Soften. He’s not giving you a hard time, he’s having a hard time. We are on the same team. Don’t react, respond. He’s only little once. Remember how old he is. Do with, as opposed to do to. You are here to help, not make it worse. You do have time for this. This is what matters. Set limits early. When you know better, you can do better. This is an opportunity to connect. What need is he communicating? Where is he coming from? Talk aloud what’s happened. This is not an emergency. I am where I need to be. This is age appropriate. Treat him how you’d like to be treated. Share your calm, don’t join the chaos. Acknowledge the inner delight. See the effort, voice the effort. Be consistent. It’s not personal. I am here. I hear you. Your words today will become his inner voice tomorrow. He’s doing his best. Hours are long, but the years are short. It’s harder for him than it is for me. Let feelings be, they don’t belong to me. Be who you want him to be.
A year ago today I went back to work after my mat leave.
Biggest things I’ve learned so far?
Being a mom and working full-time is no freakin’ joke.
I’m tired. Not newborn tired, but it rivals what came after that. Weekends have never, ever been sweeter, though they are now much harder than they ever were before.
I feel like I have no brain cells. I’ve come to realize my brain pre and post mat leave are two dramatically different things. Post mat leave brain is still struggling to understand what that means, on top of fitting everything else into it that I’m now asked of.
I have very little time for mostly anything. Between work demands, parenting demands, and personal demands, the time I have in my life is stretched so thin that a flick of the wrist could break it’s mere illusion.
And I miss my kid. A whole freakin’ lot. Picking him up from childcare everyday fills me with such a sweet, blissful, contentment. It makes me whole. My heart feels radiant and complete. And saying goodbye to him the next morning is a bittersweet event that always, always comes too soon.
But there is something undeniably needed in this crazy, exhausted, sometimes dead brain of mine: a purpose beyond myself and my world. One that gives. That cares. That spreads joy. That empowers. That helps.
Tomorrow is my first day of being back to work post mat-leave.
There are so very very very very many thoughts coursing throughout my brain on this eve of stepping again into the working life I once had while saying goodbye (for now, at least) to the everyday, day-long rituals of my son and I as we lived as one, breathed as one, cried as one, laughed as one and found a sweet, peaceful solace as one. I will miss those days always, and ache for them I know that I will.
But it is time for me to use my brain again. It is time for it to hurt again as I wrestle in ways theoretical, philosophical and pedagogical. It is time for me to bring that which I have struggled with, questioned with and embraced with of motherhood and to see what of it gives rise to my being as an educator, collaborator and enricher.
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