Notes on Motherhood

Everything has gone exactly as I have NOT planned it. But it has all been mind-blowing anyway, and perfectly gorgeous. 

A year ago today (or maybe tomorrow) I went into labor with my son. I felt something pop inside me, and then I felt lots and lots of liquid everywhere. Then I felt every emotion you can possibly feel. Every one. Try me. Name an emotion--I felt it. Sitting on towels in my bathroom, then in the tub, I felt like something had seized me and would never give me back. I was right. 

It was motherhood. 

It's THE endeavor. Whatever your thoughts about the hard jobs of the world--crab boats, CIA, US president, I don't care--this job never ends and is always different. I've only been at it for a year, and I feel as if every bone in my body has been worked and challenged. Every little cell stimulated. 

It requires more breathing and awareness than any yoga. More care and attention than any craft. More energy than any task. More wisdom and intuition than any puzzle. 

I'm not saying that all mothers are women. In my opinion, you don't need to give birth to be a mother. A mother is a nurturer and a giver. Simple as that. A constant servant, a constant of love coming forth, continuous energy flowing outward. Some people have to have a human being born out of their bodies for this to happen like me, but some people come upon it in their lives in other ways. A mother has great compassion. A mother is always asking, "What do you need?"

There is nothing more holy than this. My main prayer since he was born is to make me an example, a better mother so that I may guide him, lead him in the right direction. My prayers were always about me before he was born, but now they're about him. A shift in focus. Just what I needed. And he gave that to me. 

I was just a girl this time last year. A selfish girl. I'm still selfish, but my heart is so much larger. It exists inside someone else now. It goes where he goes. It knows what he knows. It hurts when he hurts. It thrives when he thrives. My heart is not just with me. My energy belongs to those around me, and so I take care of it and honor it like I did not before. I'm a woman.

The labor was not what I expected. I wanted to do it naturally. I had wonderful support from my doula, Amanda and my husband. Nothing was going as planned. I was so caught up in how it should go. How I wanted it. What happened to my plan? 

It wasn't his plan. By the time he was out of me and into the world, I didn't care. That's how it's been ever since: I don't care. My plan might not matter, as long as he is safe and healthy and happy. It was a beautiful way of telling me, "Things aren't going to go your way anymore. But what a gift he is. What gifts you will receive anyway. All is well." 

He was flopping around on my belly like a fish, wet and slippery. They put a warm blanket over him, and he began to talk to me. He was alert and beautiful and big. And I think he said, "Are you ready for this?"

Happy birthday this weekend to my son! There is no end to the gratitude I feel for you.