Coming back

Pick a barn, a whole barn, and bend more slender accents than have ever been necessary, shine in the darkness necessarily.

[Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons: Objects]

Coming together. Tying up loose ends. The shift from second trimester to third. From this year to the next. A week in transition. I feel like I’ve just woken up today from a very long spell of dreaming. My center is a creaking, aching shell, but I am stretching into and through it. It just means the baby bird within has already begun the process of seeking its (her) freedom. Spoiled by the holiday, I have a few more very lovely things in my life, books and snow boots, earrings and kitchen luxuries, coffee and tea. I have a husband home for two whole weeks, longer than usual. I have a son who can’t seem to stop singing to himself and who loves his new trucks and who wakes up excited every morning when he realizes that Mama and Dada and Thomas will all have breakfast together again.

I’ve pushed past the job doubt. Today I’ll put in my notice at the terrible job. I want to assemble and proof online courses. Who knew? Who knew such a thing would leave me more energized than before after hours of working on it? Who knew that I would be inspired, here, pregnant and mothering and 28 and a devoted lover of liberal arts, to learn computer programming if it means getting to make a living bringing information to students through the Internet? Who knew the appeal it would hold? It’s a gift I never anticipated.

At the same time, I can feel myself swinging back toward art, toward poetry, toward baking, too. Gertrude Stein and Ani Difranco and Pablo Neruda and the power of the perfect phrase and the pride of a perfect rise. My mother-in-law bought Thomas the Stein book linked above, knowing that it was mostly for me.

Potted tulips and paperwhites stretch skyward and droop low under the weight of their own gorgeous blossoms. Smoky earl gray and light, sweet pizzelles. Simple, delicious dinners. Pine needles scattered underfoot, turning the living room into a wood. A little boy playing T Ball with his father, running the bases, stopping to point out the pink moon hanging above the house, promising to fly up in a rocketship airplane to get it. Two pounds of unborn baby rolls in my belly.

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I didn’t celebrate the solstice. I wanted to. Instead we spent the day with my husband’s family. Went out to see a movie I only half cared about seeing in a theater. Dealt with the subsequent late, short nap for the sick toddler. Didn’t get as much work done as I hoped. No candles. No peace.

My son has had a cold since Friday and he won’t leave me be, toddler elbows and fingers and knees and snot jammed onto me, into me, all day long. The whining, the tears, the constant need.

I haven’t nearly finished my husband’s quilt for Christmas. The toddler scarf is not done. Nothing is wrapped. I have work to do. I started a very short job I love, but I can’t commit to the continued, expanded, wonderful, fun, resume-building, skill-building version of it because it would require 35 hours a week for the last two months of pregnancy and the first month of that baby’s life. The timing couldn’t be worse.

I am stretched and sad and debating about quitting the only non-temporary job I have because it’s annoying and frustrating and a little soul-killing, but part of me thinks giving up that regular paycheck couldn’t be more foolish.

This should be one of the most comforting, lovely weeks of my year and instead I feel completely lost. I haven’t had a solstice. I’m still wandering in the dark.

everything that is happening has already happened

Becka, I was walking with Thomas the other day, wondering how in the world six more pounds of baby and more blood and more life would ever fit in this belly of mine, knowing there’s nowhere to go but out, already feeling to cramped and crowded in my own skin, and I remembered you writing the same thing while pregnant with E.
Funny how the second makes you feel so much more full than the first.

Old wives tales are all saying “girl, girl, girl.” My son tells me it’s a girl. My friends. My mother-in-law. They point out my moods. They tactfully do not mention the way my hips and rear end have transformed, the fact that I don’t seem to be nearly as “glowing” this time around. The heart rate is quick (more girl signs).

Heart burn. Chocolate cravings. A little body that thumps and shifts so much. I remember Thomas stretching, but slowly, and not so frequently. A fighter. A fierce one. Mina. A quick baby name meaning search gives me this:
‘Means “love” in German.
In Persian it means “blue jewel/gem.”
In Japanese it means south.
Means “fish” in Sanskrit. This is the name of the daughter of the Hindu goddess Usha as well as the daughter of the god Kubera.
Its English meaning is “Strong willed warrior”‘

My lovely blue gem. My warrior from the south.
My mermaid. A selkie? A naiad? A berehynia? A siren? An ondine? All of these tricksy watery spirits.
But Aries is a sun sign.
Little one, who are you?

I will be 28 years old in six days. Another birthday. Another year. Reaching toward 30. Babies trailing behind me.

Though our bones, they may break, and our souls separate, why the long face?

Six moons passed, four remaining. I am twenty-four weeks pregnant, and I have trouble believing it hasn’t been years. My hips creak like an old house on a windy night. Veins have coiled up behind one of my knees. My belly swells, the button just a dimple now, and beneath it, ripples and thumps and stretches and rolls. Not even the third trimester yet? Really?

The new job has changed my days completely, and other work looks like it’s beginning to fall out of the sky, and so I’m trying to go with the flow of it, to make the best choices I can from day to day, to keep from planning that future when so much of it is still so unknown.Thomas’s naps spent glued to a screen, help from friends and family in watching him some mornings. It meant waking up in bed with my husband two days in a row last weekend and every weekend instead of creeping out before dawn. More money. Feeling like a cog in a web site wheel. But the last month’s inklings of depression and snapping moods have eased so much. Yoga helps. It always helps.

Meanwhile the leaves are gone and our living room smells of fir & woodsmoke and packages are winging their ways around the country. I’m more on top of purchased gifts this year than usual, but less prepared with those I’m making.
Meanwhile our extended families are having a rough time right now, faced with mortalities we’d rather not think about. Meanwhile the country is not showing its best side.
Meanwhile my son sings songs, tells stories, identifies birds and construction vehicles, grows taller, learns manners, helps sweep and make cookies and fold laundry.

It’s all happening at once. Always.