Monday, December 31, 2012

My 2012 wrap up, as it is.

At the beginning of 2012, I declared that my one word for the year was going to be kindness.

I can't begin to tell you how such a simple thing could pay me back so much.

Sometimes, it's so easy to focus on the big things, to think of accomplishments and achievements in such a macro sense.  I see people make big life lists and check things off, and I wonder what I've really done in a year.  When I look for big steps or changes, it seems like I haven't moved forward at all, like all I really did this year was to tread water and survive.

But that's not the truth.  I'm not who I am last year, and my world isn't what it was last year, and it's not because of any grand gestures.  It's because of the little everyday things that I do and that I am.  It's because of the deliberate way I choose to live.  It's because of kindness.

My relationship with BG is so amazing, and truly she is so amazing, not because of any activities I do with her but because I listen to her.  I see the person that she is, big feelings and all, and I do my best to give her what I understand she needs.

I have friends, true friends, in both my local and blogging communities because I stop and take an extra second to show kindness to everyone I  come across and particularly to people who need it.    Stepping up to make sure other people's needs were met made me braver, made me clearer and stronger, and made me part of something bigger than myself, something that I would never have believed I even deserved.

And, miracle of miracles, I've been kind to myself.  I learned to stop fighting with my feelings no matter how overwhelming and to just accept them.  I learned to stop trying to fix myself because I'm not broken.  I was so afraid  of how I would handle having two kids, but I let myself be afraid.  I decided it was okay to be afraid, okay to not know what I was doing.  It was okay to write and okay not to write.  It was okay to not be excited, to not love every second of everything.

And right now?  Sleep deprived, overwhelmed, milk drenched and cranky?  I'm okay.

And all  because of a little kindness.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

On good babies

So, umm, in case I didn't mention it?  I had a baby last week.

I can't begin to explain all the ways this time is different.  But the most noticeable way is how different my baby is.

Little sister is calm.  And quiet. (Who knew they made them quiet?)  She doesn't care who's holding her, doesn't mind being put down.  At night, she sleeps in her bassinet and only wakes up to eat.  She only cries when she's hungry, and when she is awake and not nursing, she is calm and alert - although to me her expression always says "what's with you crazy people?"  Which?  Fair enough.

She is pleasant and agreeable, and in every way an easy baby.

But please don't call her a good baby, or I'll want to scream.

Because as much as I'm enjoying the quiet, as much of a relief it is not to be pacing the floor all night with an(other) inconsolable child, as great as she is to be around, when you call her a good baby, all I hear is that BG wasn't.

And that's so not fair.

Never once, whatever we went through together, did I think my sweet eldest girl was a bad baby.

And I worry too about my little one, being in the shadow of her charming, demanding, endearing, crazy-making big sister.  Is it really in her best interest to be so calm?  On Christmas Eve I forgot where she was, while I was nursing her.

The truth is I am absolutely crazy about both of my girls, and all  I want is for them both to be happy and loved.  And if it is possible to have a "good" baby, well then I have two.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The words

Lately, the words just don't come.

I feel like my heart has so much to say, but at the same time like my brain has absolutely nothing to say.  Like everything I have to say is the same, like I've said it all before.

I'm scared.

I'm tired.

I'm frustrated and disappointed and anxious and I don't even know what else.

Right now, I am sitting on my couch with my feet up, the advice everyone seems to be giving me these days. I am anxious that nothing "meaningful" is getting done.  It is quiet in my house because my sweet big girl is napping, easily for once, after a long playdate this morning which we both sorely needed.

I am waiting.

There is not much else to my life right now.

Soon, there will be a tiny, squishy newborn in my life and a jealous big sister.  And I won't be sleeping at night, and I will be trying to remember how to survive.  I will be busy and yet not busy.  I will feel that nothing is ever getting accomplished and the best I can hope for is that I won't care.

But right now I am just waiting.  Waiting and wondering and completely unsure of what to expect.  There is an emptiness to the waiting, which most of the time is neither eager anticipation nor dread but simply this space before, this quiet.

And I want to fill that space with words, to let them all pour out of me and through me, to use this moment to create something full of beauty and meaning and worthiness.

But it feels like there isn't time, even though time is all I seem to have.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

So, this is happening

So, it's becoming pretty clear that I'm going to have a baby.

Yeah, I've always been a little bit slow.

Last time I did this, I had no idea what this meant. I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know what it truly meant to be a mom, to have a little person who could simultaneously make you happy and insane, who was both you and not you, who both overwhelmed you and made you feel complete in a way you didn't know you weren't. I didn't know what it would be like to lose myself, to find myself, to recreate myself, and to do it all again. I didn't know how long it would be until I'd sleep, until I'd have my body to myself again (well, I'm still waiting for that one), until I'd find a way to make peace with all the things that had changed and all the things that didn't have to.

 This time? I'm terrified.

 Who is she going to be? Who am I going to be? These weren't even questions that came into my mind the first time around. What's going to happen to my sweet, crazy making eldest daughter? Is this going to change her? Is that a good thing?

 Are we all going to be okay?

 No amount of planning and calculating, of freezing dinners, of arranging help is going to make all these questions go away. There's nothing I can do to fix this, nothing I can do to make any of this less real. I feel envious of people who are excited, I feel angry that I'm so overcome by fear and uncertainty, I feel guilty for not feeling gushy and happy about my coming bundle of joy.

 But it is what it is, and where I am, and who I am. It's real and it's valid and it's okay.

 At least that's what I'm telling myself.