Back and Forth

“I want to be a mommy now!” she said looking up to me with her beautiful, curious brown eyes.

I’m quickly taken back to the moment I met those eyes seconds after she was born. Those same brown eyes were already looking around the hospital room full of wonder.

I’m brought back to reality when she throws herself to the floor and then whines, “I don’t want to be a kid!”

She’s four. Already looking forward while I’m constantly looking back. It’s hard to keep things real and hopeful at the same time with her. I want to tell her being a kid is the best and please don’t rush it. Getting old sucks. Because in a lot of ways it does, but does it really have to? And do I really want her to think all fun ends at age 21?

I recently watched “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” on Netflix (okay, three times actually) and I loved it so much for so many reasons. It took me back to high school when I had that head in the clouds daydreamy feeling that I remember always having growing up. I used my imagination all the time to be more creative and expressive. Maybe that’s what I’ve been missing and need more of to make this adulting thing suck less.

I ended up telling Sadie she won’t be a mommy for a long time (long as in 25 years … a conversation for much later) but she can pretend to be whatever she wants now. She moved on to the next thing and I went back to seeing her as a newborn until I reminded myself that while her eyes might be the same tomorrow, she won’t be. So I snapped out of it to live with her in an imaginative world and pretended to be a kid – her kid – again.

The Prick

I don’t look at the boxes of needles on the table next to me. Instead, I concentrate on the broken ceiling tiles above me in the room where I’m about to have my first acupuncture session. I never thought I’d be able to do this and for a second the reason consumes my mind. Would I rip the needles out before or while I run out the door half naked during my panic attack?

My acupuncturist comes in just as I start to strategize my out. She’s soft spoken, calm and smart. Says it won’t hurt. I trust her.

My ears are first. (Ears!?) And it does hurt. But it’s gone as soon as the next prick happens. By the time she gets to my feet, I’m used to the sensation. The prick.

Thirty or so minutes later I’m so relaxed that I think I wouldn’t mind laying there all afternoon, but I’m forced to pay and then drift to my car in a cloud of euphoria. My stomach felt so relaxed; I hadn’t realized how tense I had held it everyday. So I book my next session.

Finally giving this scary treatment a try and withstanding the discomfort was totally worth it for the outcome. Like going to a new workout class where everyone seems to know what they are doing but you. Accepting a new job at a new company and maybe even in a new state. Ending a relationship. Committing to a relationship. Working through the hard times in a relationship.

The prick can be terrifying and is always uncomfortable. You know there will be some type of pain, but you aren’t sure just what or how you’ll react to it. You can avoid it – for awhile or for forever. But I think it’s probably worth a shot (or a needle). And when you do do it, you’ll be pretty proud of yourself for doing something you once thought you never could do.

Muck

A glass or two of wine tonight led me down the ole memory lane – tearing up at old photos and cringing at old blog posts. It’s been six years since we landed in the land of la la. Two years longer than I lived in Chicago or spent in high school or college.

A lot happens in six years. And a lot can feel like it’s not happening in six years.

I got stuck many, many times. Stuck like thick, muddy clay that’s hard to wash off. When you’re in it, you. are. in. it. Like there is no way to get it out of your skin. And it hurts, especially when it’s there too long. But slowly, excruciatingly slowly sometimes, the crap starts to clear and one day you realize it’s washing out. And then days, or years later, you realize it’s gone and it was exfoliating. You shed some stuff that needed to be shed and you’re renewed because of it.

The muck can suck. But what skin doesn’t need some exfoliating from time to time?

 

August

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The month of birthdays, anniversaries and first days of school. When August would come as a kid, it meant birthday presents and a few more weeks of freedom in the summer sun before the new school year started. Summer was the best. It was sad to say goodbye to it but the thought of a new beginning with different classmates was exciting. As was buying a new trapper keeper. And new sweaters for fall.

Summer is different in Southern California. Or maybe it’s just different as an adult. We don’t get a real change of season. Or a real reason to change.

My recent birthday was not a significant number but, as usual, I reflected on the last year 33 years. How far have I come? Is this where I thought I’d be? What are my plans for the future? What do I want to do with my life (ideas welcome)?

We cling to new years, new jobs, birthdays…whatever reason we can to give ourselves a fresh start. It’s so hard to remember that, really, every day is a new beginning. Every minute. Every second.

So for this fresh start, I will try to remember that. To be more present. To not dwell on the past or figure out the future. Enjoy the summer sun. And be excited about the little things. Like watching my 9-month old discover a button or a shoelace.

Nothing is as exciting as that. Not even a new trapper keeper.

More Than Ever

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I’ve called my Mom in tears more in the last six months than ever before. I’ve asked her what to do more times than ever before. I miss being near her. More than ever before.

Being a Mom is the greatest gift. Full of too much love to handle. To know I would give my life for my daughter is scary. And amazing.

But being a Mom is not always easy. It has given me loads of self-doubt. It has tested my strength.

My Mom does it with so much patience, kindness and grace. Her love never wavers. Her heart is always open. I hope I can do the same.

I appreciate and love you, Mom. More than ever before.

Ready or Not

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Everyone keeps asking me if I’m ready. I get it. It’s what’s going on in my life, but what exactly should I be ready for?

Utter exhaustion? Dirty diapers? Labor? No. No. And never.

We’re doing what websites and friends say to do to prepare for a baby. Classes. Some reading googling. Organizing the nursery. But it’s impossible to be ready for something we’ve never been exposed to. Something that will change our lives in ways we can’t understand right now.

There was a time a few years ago when I couldn’t imagine being at this point in my life. But I’m here now and I’m more mentally ready than I ever have been. We’ll never be totally prepared. The time will never be perfect. But sometimes it’s remembering how far we’ve come, how much we’ve grown, to take that leap of faith and boldly say “yes, I’m ready.”

I’m ready to be open to the vulnerability that comes with being a parent. To be patient with the uncertainty. I’m ready to meet her and have new experiences during this one life we have to live.

And I’m very much ready to ditch the maternity clothes, eat sushi and have a glass of wine.

Moments

My favorite moment from my favorite movie

The mind gives us moments of brilliance. And fear.

It gives us moments of doubt. And courage.

They can be fleeting or linger.

The mind is complex. And has a very strong pull. Toward happiness. Toward sadness.

It can be a dangerous, dark place. Bigger than us. And impossible to navigate alone.

Rest in peace Robin Williams. Thank you for generously sharing so many of your moments with us.