These Days

I'm hitting the last weeks of pregnancy and am alternately ready to be holding a baby already and utterly terrified at that prospect and willing to stay pregnant forever.

It's a confusing place to live.

You would think that once you have a baby, the second go-around would be fairly routine. I mean, I know what happened last time and that was only 3 years ago! I had a moment of panic the other day and checked out a big thick baby care manual from the library. I read it and was like, oh yeah, feed them, rock them, change them, repeat. Whew. Yes, it's really that simple. I know how to do that. And then I read the part about newborns only sleeping for 2-3 hour stretches and I started panicking all over again and thinking that it's going to be spring at the very earliest before I sleep, and if this baby is like Laurel it will be the spring of 2014. Gah. And I can't even drink coffee now to get myself through it.

M & K Thru-hike the Appalachian TrailTonight I was thinking about mountains and how much I like to hike up them, but also how much fear is involved in that for me. I love the rhythm of finding a nice stride going uphill. Even if you are in good shape, it starts to feel impossible after a while. The mountain goes on and on. You think you see a peak, but you get there and there's more to climb. For me, if the wind so much as starts to blow I worry about a thunderstorm. Sometimes it's slippery and the trail goes really close the edge. Sometimes, after you've walked over a few hundred mountains, you wonder what in the world you are still doing walking over mountains. Then, the peak comes. You are perhaps rewarded with a view. You say, I just kicked that mountain's ass! I feel amazing! I am on top of the world! Life is good. But for me, that exhilaration always came with pit in my stomach. I feel vulnerable and exposed and worry that Nature is coming to get me in the form of a lightening storm or mountain lion attack. I immediately start thinking about getting the heck down off that mountain.

I am both empowered and terrified.

This is motherhood to me. Today I felt good about what I have taught Laurel so far....with the philosophy that I am educating a person, not training a child to behave. It's tedious and I often don't know if what I'm doing is "working". But it does feel empowering from time to time when your kid suddenly makes another developmental leap and you can see how you helped them to that place. I rocked that mountain.

Motherhood terrifies me because it's such a place of vulnerability for me. Being honest with your kids is harder than I imagined. The father of one of our friends died this week and Laurel found the sympathy card I was sending. It would be easier to gloss over it. Maybe call it a birthday card or something. Much harder to find the appropriate words to tell your three year old that people die and it makes other people sad and here's one tiny little thing we can do to make someone feel better. But it does not make it go away. And yes, everyone dies. Gulp. I want to get down off this mountain right now.

Empowered and terrified. That's what I am these days.


Anonymous said...

I was wondering if your Springer Fever was a sign that you'll soon be in labor. Sending you lots of love and good vibes for this next mountain.

Aunt Mary

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this Katy. It is beautifully written and makes me feel excited and scared. Exhilarated.