Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's his party, and I'll cry if I want to.

Is it a shock to anybody that I've started planning Collin's first birthday a month ago? (He's currently ten months old. Just for the record). It's going to be Elmo themed, because Elmo has always been Collin's BFF (After MooMoo, of course). Collin's first birthday has been pretty much the focus of my life lately, always hovering around in the back of my head, much like his baby shower did. I have fantasized about it since I was pregnant, possibly even before that. His first birthday seems to be where all my motherhood fantasies convene, and I picture Collin giddy, surrounded by friends, enjoying his little one-year-old life. I also picture perfect weather, perfect homemade decorations, and perfect homemade food.

Hmm...could it be that I am setting myself up for disappointment? No, not really. I pictured the same thing for his Welcome-To-Earth party at the beach, in which I was having a near panic attack because we were late (as usual) but no one even came for the first thirty minutes, then it was so packed at the beach that I couldn't find a picnic table (some nice people let me use one of theirs). I spent the first half of the party snapping postpardomly at poor Husband, and then I accidentally tugged Collin's newborn ear while putting his hat on and made him SCREAM inconsolably just as guests started to arrive. On top of all that, the sunny day at the beach I imagined was freezing cold until the party was over and we were walking back to our car, when the clouds parted, the sun suddenly shined merrily, and (I kid you not) dolphins began leaping happily along the shore. I don't remember anything else about that day. I probably went home and ate a pound of chocolate while I pumped in front of Netflix. But, I digress; my point was that when I look at pictures of that party, the one I had such high hopes for and went nothing like I had planned, I am filled with nostalgia and love for that tiny baby in his nerd sweater sniffling in my arms. The party was to celebrate the fact that he was born, and that in itself made it a great party. And hey, we even saw some dolphins.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Granola, anyone?

I love being a mom in Santa Cruz. I didn't realize just how much I had absorbed the crunchy mama culture (think Earth Mother) until it hit me one day, while I was wearing my baby in a sling as I concocted homemade laundry detergent. I was wearing aluminum-free deodorant (which, lets be honest, doesn't really work) and singing a song from Mothersong, a multi-cultural singalong that I take Collin to. At Mothersong, you will be likely to sit in a circle and openly breastfeed while you sing "We love the mother earth" with babies named Hawk and Bear (I'm not kidding. They're very cute babies).

I love living naturally. I admire other people who live naturally. And, yes, I've even acquired a taste for granola. You're welcome, Santa Cruz.

In other news, we are yet again traveling to Southern California, this time to support my Mom's partner as she passes from this life. I am anticipating some highly emotional days ahead, hopefully brightened a little by Collin's sweet smile.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It is what it is: Discovering acceptance.

Lately, I’ve been reminded of my favorite mantra, “I am, what I am, what I am. Thank god I am.”

Finding my place as a mother and as a soul transitioning from youth to midlife has offered insights into paths I never once considered. It has opened windows and closed them. I have become calmer, stronger, perhaps a little wiser. Also, more confused. But that comes with the process, I suppose.

I do not believe in death the way modern Americans perceive it. To me, what we know as death is just a transition from one world to another, a different (perhaps less painful?) form of birth. I used to pride myself in believing I was immune to fearing death. That is, until I became a mother. Suddenly, death had a whole new meaning. Yes, I still view it as a simple transition, but now there is more to it. “What if” swims around my head as I rock my child to sleep at night. What if there was a bad earthquake? What if there was a terrible car accident? What if there was a fire?

What if I lost my husband? What if I lost my child? What if I lost them both? How would I go on?

The impermanence of life has left me humbled. Every day, I thank the Universe for one more day with my beautiful family, for our health and happiness. For our safety. Being a mother has made me realize, despite all the responsibilities I do have, just how much I don’t have control. And if I allow it, I will collapse into myself with worry, crumble beneath the weight of What If? I am only human, but I have the divine capability of choosing my thoughts. I try to remember to think them wisely. Worrying about my future will not protect my future, nor will spending my energy groveling to the Universe in gratefulness for how good I have it now. I need to live boldly, in acceptance of what turns my life may take, and that is how I will honor my life, past, present, and future.

I am, what I am, what I am. Thank god I am.