My faraway friends,
flickering lights behind words
bring us together.
I’ve been thinking about how the internet makes my friends closer. Which is good and bad. We can “talk” with each other much faster – no more writing letters by hand, dropping them in the mail and then waiting for them to be delivered. But with that convenience comes neglect. We don’t talk as much as we should – because it’s so easy! We’ll get to it later, in an hour, tomorrow, next week. The light behind the thin black letters illuminates our hearts, souls, minds. These words on the screen bridge the miles. I just have to type them…
An Ocean of Sound
This morning we’re happy to be awake and hanging out. Waking came early today, but we’re up.
Last night was one of those nights that I was kind of feeling worn down by the whole Mama thing. I don’t know why it caught up with me – maybe it’s because I’ve never been away from my Pie alone. Maybe it’s because I’ve only been away from her one time, for my anniversary in September. But I don’t know why it caught up with me last night. It hadn’t been a bad day - we had a good visit with my co-workers (I work from home, so we don’t go into the office that much) but when we got home my Pie wouldn’t go down for a nap, was squirmy in the wrap, didn’t want to do tummy time or sit in her chair while I made dinner. She wasn’t even that happy being held in arms. I couldn’t figure it out. She was just fussing no matter what we did. (I think she’s teething, but still. Can Mama get a break?)
My Pie will start out fairly content – talking to me or to herself, hanging out & watching me in the kitchen or folding laundry or cruising around with me while I’m picking up the living room. Then at some point, that talking morphs into complaint – and I can’t always tell if she’s really complaining or just talking. Although I guess it’s one of those things that if I have to ask, I should know that it’s complaining.
But that transition is sometimes just a slight change in her tone. And if I’m not paying close attention, it can slip past me, and all of a sudden we’re in complaint territory. It can be a very subtle transition, imperceptible even.
Then the complaints turn to fuss, like a big wave building slowly and then finally breaking. Shortly after the fussing comes the crying. Full-on closed eye, red face, drooling, gasping cries.
I hate to say it, but I let her go through all four stages last night. I saw each wave building, but I just let them come. I talked to her to try to calm her, gave her hugs and walked around with her, tried to distract her with toys or songs. But the ocean of her sound was there, enveloping me.
I felt like a bad mom. I can’t figure out what she wants! I’m so run down I kind of don’t want to play the game of figuring it all out, but here we go. Rock, walk, sing, swing. Dance, play, walk away. I feed, change, hold, cuddle. And I think to myself – I’m a pretty devoted mother. I care for her all day. She’s not neglected, she’s not left in a crib to cry it out. She is certainly cared for well. I knew what it was like to take care of a baby. I didn’t really have the 24-hour-a-day knowledge, but I knew how all-consuming it would be. I have friends who have had babies with no previous childcare experience. What a shock it must have been to them. But I knew, at least empirically, what it would be like. So why can’t I handle it?
Sometimes when you’re swimming in the ocean you can see a wave coming. And sometimes the best thing to do is to turn toward shore and let the wave break over you. If you fight it, try to swim over it, try to take it head-on, you get swallowed whole.