Nothing like the birth of a baby to prevent you from writing for nearly a year. Since this was not my first child, you would think I would remember the challenges of having a new baby in the house. Now when I have a few minutes to spare I don’t think about writing. I think about eating, resting or just falling asleep. These are the things that new mothers do (or dream about) because the rest of the time they need to constantly focus on keeping the baby happy. Or at least not crying. Well, how about not crying too loud?
Motherhood has its ups and downs. Today as I look at my 10 month old Jacob I see so much of his father in him. His smile. His laugh. His plentiful hair. He is so much that I am not. He is innocent. He has very simple needs and I have the feeling he doesn’t worry like adults do. He really knows how to live in the moment. When he needs something he needs it now. Now you understand why babies cry all the time. Living in the moment seems so easy for children while adults spend time planning, organizing, and worrying. It is no surprise that so many people have depression due to all the worrying. Why can’t we just live for the now?
It seems our brains, although powerful, can also lead us down paths of thought that are not healthy. The mind is capable of so many things yet most days I would like to turn it off parts of it. Why can’t I just do a task or eat a meal without having all sorts of other thoughts going through my brain. I just want to enjoy a quiet moment and most of the time I can’t. Your brain is like a computer that shows one program on the screen while other programs are running in the background. Have you ever been driving along and suddenly realized you didn’t remember driving that last stretch of road? Somehow your mind wanders to think about other problems instead of focussing on the road. (Like keeping the car on the road is not a problem?)
Lately I have been so busy with one task after the other I haven’t had much time to think. No time to worry. My only concern was whether I had enough milk and food to feed my baby for tomorrow. Now I see that still was not living in the moment because I was worrying about the future! Our darn brains. I understand why we watch too many movies and television shows. Watch others makes us feel like we are living in the moment (albeit someone else’s moment) and this distracts us from our own worries and fears. How do we force ourselves to live more in our own life and worry less? How do we prevent distractions from impinging on our critical moments in life. The giggle from a baby. A hug from a loved one. These are moments to cherish and should not be interrupted by the solving of a work problem in our head or worrying about what we are making for dinner tonight.
I sit peacefully on the sofa in my living room with my eyes closed. I take a deep breath in. I listen to the sounds in my house to try to focus. I hear the whir of the washing machine, the almost inaudible hum of the television and the sshhhgg of the dishwasher. All the sounds seem to mix together, at least until I hear baby Jacob and his quiet whimpering. Again he needs something and my focus is back on him.The baby has forced me to live in the moment. The only other thing I have done lately to live in the moment was to write this blog. I didn’t think about it. I didn’t plan it. It wasn’t on a to-do list. What can you do today to live in the moment without distraction?
It is official, my enlarged and rapidly growing pregnant belly announces that I am pregnant. Unfortunately when I tell people my due date, the next question is, “Are you having twins?”. You would think I would be used to this sort of comment from my first pregnancy when I received the same exact questions. My body style just does’t hide a growing baby very well. It never has and it never will.
I suppose I should take these comments as compliments because at least they don’t think I am fat, they KNOW I am pregnant. They also assume there is a rational explanation for what appears to be a watermelon hiding under my shirt. Even my doctor commented on the baby utilizing every inch of my torso from my ribs to my hips for his own expansion.
I still have a lot of weeks to go in this pregnancy which I plan to take in stride. Today I contemplated joking with strangers when they comment on my pregnancy by telling them I am not pregnant and that I am just smuggling watermelons. Although last time I checked, watermelons don’t kick like this baby who punches me after ever bit of spicy food, chocolate, or ice cream. They say that every pregnancy is different, yet so much seems that same.
Why do kids make parents mad?
Why do they behave so bad?
Kids are kids they say, its true
It seems they make me crazy too
All the times they misbehave
It’s just attention that they crave
Attention good or bad they’ll take
From morning to night – I need a break!
At 5 in the morning they wake me
Only 6 hours sleep they need
What happened to all the naps in day
Those stages of sleep are far away
Each day they test me on another thing
My heart melts – did I hear them sing?
The ups and downs of parenthood
not every day is going to be good
Today is quiet as they watch cartoons
The silence will be broken again soon
I wake up thinking only in rhyme
Why does this happen all the time?
The poems emerge with little thought
Others efforts to rhyme hard fought
A simple talent I seem to have
A family heirloom descended perhaps
I wonder how many have this gift
I can write just looking at lake mist
The gift of writing an old-time skill
For me not lost, but here still
I work each day on creativity
Unknown worlds of poems I see
A gift of poetry I have always had
Time to use it, it isn’t bad
A gift worth sharing for all to see
Won’t you join in rhyming with me?
I hate headaches, yes I do
The pounding in my head boom, boom
Nothing can make it go away
Water, coffee or even Earl Grey
I can’t focus, I can’t think
I can’t eat, I can barely drink
Finally the headache begins to dull
I can’t believe it’s finally done
I wasted days fighting the pain
Then suddenly you just go away
Another day you will return
For now I enjoy a head without hurt
From the desert to the forest with the evergreen trees
A trip from coast to coast and I know where I’ll be
To the lake with the water splashing on the dock
The dirt road winds ’round the lake to walk
A trip so long by road, yet short by plane
Back to a place I grew up – so far, far away
Not just in miles but in years gone by
I long for the cool crisp air of night
The lake was always my second home you know
I traveled the world, always on the go
Not sure how I traveled – car, plane or boat
I am ready to return to the cabin down the road
Camp is a place in my heart and soul
It made my childhood memories like gold
I long for evenings sitting on the porch
The barbecue over and marshmallows scorched
A place still seen through my child’s eye
It looks so different as a grown-up, but why?
What is a wedding but a union of two.
A day for commitment, our love is true.
Together we come on this special day.
Like everything else, we do it our way.
From rough beginnings those early days.
Our passion ran strong like fire ablaze.
Our hearts filled with love, each day it grew.
Now we navigate life like true partners do.
Today we stand here as true soulmates.
Finding your other half is truly great.
Anyone who meets us can clearly see.
Eran, Stacey, Tucker and Paige are a family!
A day of new beginnings, the next chapter of life.
We will leave here married – husband and wife.
What is today? It is our wedding day. Today is the day of a new beginning. Or is it? It feels like the new beginning occurred when my boyfriend and I got back together after a lengthy breakup. From that point on we were committed. It took a lot of adjusting to get where we are now – happy.
On that first date I knew. I felt something and it hasn’t stopped. I doubted it. I ran away from it. I even threw it on the floor and stomped on it. It was always there in my face. Undeniable love.
From the first date to today I can see that it has changed. It has become more calm, strong and reliable instead of a cursed roller coaster. Maturity perhaps. Faith maybe. Like a fine wine, aged. Definitely better.
As we seal our love with marriage today I am not nervous, stressed, or worried. We have built a house of brick, not straw and today we move in. We cross the threshold to a new phase in our relationship. New beginnings, new memories and more love to grow. This is the time of plenty.
My boyfriend and I planned a fun overnight trip to Sedona. On Saturday morning as we were preparing to leave when he mentioned that he needed to go to the mall first. I thought it was a bit strange. A guys wants to go to the mall? Then again, with him you just never know. Maybe he wanted to buy me a new dress? or some shoes? I was game, wouldn’t you be? As I was driving to the mall I asked what store he planned to take me to. He responded, “Godiva Chocolate”. It was about 105 degrees outside so of course I began to worry that any chocolate we bought may not last the 10 minute drive to the house, never mind the 90 minute drive to Sedona. Then again we could just eat all the chocolate before we left the mall. I am sure that wouldn’t be so difficult for either of us. Would it be hard for you?
We entered the Godiva store and he bought a box of chocolate covered strawberries and a box of 8 chocolates. I felt fat accumulating on my thighs just looking at the box. For a moment I wondered who else was going on this trip to Sedona because surely all this chocolate could not be for us. Why do they have to make the chocolate look so good? Sometimes I feel bad eating such beautiful food, but not so bad that I wouldn’t eat it. I mean it is chocolate.
As we leave the Godiva store $100 lighter and carrying a bag full of chocolate I wonder where this shopping spree is going next. Macy’s? Nordstrom? We begin wandering and he doesn’t give me a clue where we are going. Suddenly as we stand in front of a jewelry store he turns me around to look at him and asks,”Will you marry me?”. My eyes well up as I blurt out ,”Yes”. Then he ushers me into the jewelry store, “We can get our rings right now!”, he says. I am brushing tears from my eyes as I look at all the shiny rings.
I had a clue that he was planning something special for the weekend (he was action weird) but I didn’t know what. I was expecting a souvenir T-shirt from Sedona or a new dress, not a wedding ring and a fiancée! We picked out our rings and walked out of the store with a small bag of rings and many dollars lighter. We decided to begin wearing our wedding rings right away. We bought them, we might as well wear them? Were we making a wrong statement by looking married when we didn’t have the paper to back it up? After my daughter asked saw the ring on his finger and asked, “Did you marry mommy?”, we knew that the rings definitely were noticed AND sending a message. We were not technically married according to the law, but we definitely were feeling married. In reality we felt married for a long time. It seemed like dotting your ‘i’ or crossing your ‘t’ in an English essay. Details do matter, but in some cases don’t make the story any different.
Today is the first day of August. Where did summer go? Where did the last year go? I always feel like life is crazy and is constantly providing new challenges. I don’t know how I would deal with boredom in life. You get out of life what you put into it, don’t you? Work hard and you will be rewarded with a raise or a promotion. Love strong and you will be loved back strong. Be a thoughtful and caring person and people will reciprocate. It is like Newton’s Third Law of motion, For each action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
You can choose to go through life with a smile on your face and a spring in your step or you can choose another path. Honestly, I have no idea what that other path is. No matter what challenge I have faced in life, I have managed to put on a smile and get through it. Is this positive perspective of life contagious? Or do some people find it intimidating? Maybe I mistake intimidation for jealousy? Do people wonder, ‘How can she be so happy all the time?’. Even my daughter who has been missing her front teeth for nearly a year can produce a smile!
When I was about 7 or 8 years old I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. They always found a way to have a good time. I remember them as being silly. It wasn’t until years later when I was called Silly Stacey that I understood that silliness was genetic. Through good times and bad (like the marriage vow), we need to commit to stay positive in our outlook on life. We need to find the funny bone instead of the sourpuss. If we approach life with humor, won’t it give us humor back? At least it has worked for me so far. What humor have you found in life today?