It’s been a whole year since my last post. A year! I don’t believe it. I never intended to take such a long break, nor did I intend to let the blog die. I just … got caught up in other things.
2014 was hard. We bought a house, moved. We went from a family of three to a family of four. My mom had a complete breakdown and was hospitalized. I went back to teaching as an adjunct professor, with all of its attendant uncertainties. And money worries. I think tumultuous is the right adjective. Chaotic, maybe. Traumatic, maybe – not all of it, but the stuff with my mom, my difficult birth…
Then again, I hate saying “it was a hard year” because it gave us Starling. He’s such a light: a happy, chunky little guy who likes to be on the move. He has been an easy baby, really. Our boys had a good year, I think, I hope. Jaybird grew by leaps and bounds, turned the corner with potty training, learned to write his name, came to love Star Wars and gymnastics and puns. He’s spunky. Dramatic. Quick with a comeback. He’s in kindergarten, now! We worried about starting him in school because he’s still really short, and he has an August birthday, but we also knew he was ready. He needed the challenge. And it was the right decision. He’s thriving.
So much has happened. I would sometimes sit down to write here, and then feel overwhelmed about capturing all of it. Or any of it, perhaps. This has been my place to think about motherhood, and I have had a lot of occasion to do so, but it was hard to navigate or articulate. My mother’s illness, for one thing. She started decompensating – getting worse, and worse – towards the end of my pregnancy and through my birth and maternity leave. Just as my maternity leave was ending, she was institutionalized.
So, that really sucked.
I feel guilty that I was distracted by her illness during those precious early months with Starling. I wore him close to my body as I shuttled Mom to appointments and took her on walks in an attempt to rescue her from herself. At least he was always that – close to me, nestled against me or Uno.
Here we are, one year later. We’re on the other side. My new theme is self-care. I’m not very adept at it, but baby steps. I started therapy, finally, last fall, and I must say that it’s been amazing. I’m also gaining some traction and stability with career. Right now I’m working in a marketing job that pays well, which means I’m not constantly checking our accounts, and we can afford a nanny. Also, it’s easier than teaching. I’ve done more writing since I started there six months ago–my own writing, I mean. I published two essays, even! Uno’s job is more rewarding and easier, as time has passed and she’s been able to make the directorship her own. We have been working on mindfulness practices. Everybody is getting more sleep. Also, my mom was released last Christmas, and has steadily found the right balance of meds and providers. She’s back: her smile, her voice, herself.
Meanwhile, too, we have our brilliant little boys. Now, to be fair, there is a lot of shrieking. Things reach a fever-pitch on occasion, say at 8:15 in the morning when it’s time to get Jaybird out the door RIGHT NOW for school and he won’t eat and Starling only wants to be held and won’t stop screaming …
… but then, later, I get home from work, and they both run towards me as soon as I’m inside. Starling with his adorable, speedy waddle. I nurse him while Jaybird climbs on me, chattering on about Luke Skywalker. I squeeze them both over and over, relishing their laughter and their wild energy.
Yeah, they’re awesome. Two kids hasn’t been easy, necessarily, but Uno and I are pleased as punch that we went for it.
Well, there you have it. A recap of sorts! I plan to be back soon. (Office job). This has been a precious space, and still is.