I deleted my post from last week–it felt weird, out of place. But I have been wanting to talk to you.
I am so happy, Mom. October always seems to bring me the best season of my person; every year I come into another form when the air cools and the trees begin to turn. Last year at this time my pregnant belly was beginning to show and I was all wrapped up in pregnancy, dreaming of my baby and anticipating his (or her, as I was so convinced) arrival. The year before that, I was newly engaged and planning our spring wedding, thinking that my life could not possibly get any better. And the October before that, Chris and I were in the prime of our dating relationship, spending nights at each other’s houses, doing things on the weekends with freedom and money (how I miss both those things), and learning how to love one another with big hopes for our future together.
A shift is happening within me, and I credit it to the weather. I also credit it to Everett turning six months. Him and I are having such great days together, and I could not be more satisfied with staying home. I absolutely love it. I love being the one to witness everything he does–I love being the face that makes him laugh and coo and smile.
I try to imagine your stay at home days with me, when it was just you and I, before the other three came along. How lucky I feel to be the one who got all that time with you. I may not remember it, but somewhere deep it is ingrained in my body. Because I swear to God, when I sit on the couch and hold Everett up above me, getting him to laugh and in the process, getting giggles out of myself, I feel you. I remember you. And I feel thankful down to my bones for everything you and Dad did for me growing up.
Chris has come into his own role as a father, making me fall even more in love with this new version of my husband I’m getting to know. When I am out of the house, sometimes I turn on the baby camera and catch him getting Everett up from a nap. How sweet it is to see and hear him come into the baby’s room, talking all cute and scooping Everett up out of his crib. I melt, absolutely melt.
I’m so proud of the Dad he has become. What a privilege to witness the man you love, love your child with the same fierce fire that you do. When we married, our love and commitment was our promise to each other, and now Everett has become a part of that.
Yoga has contributed to this overall feel good phase, too. I took a class last week where I truly was able to let go. I practiced how I used to practice, before being pregnant and before Everett came along. In the past year or so, I forgot that I alone have the power to tune my thoughts and worries and anxieties out, and I alone can breathe my way to feeling peace.
Actually I forgot so much, that I recently hit a breaking point and reached out to my doctor. I got prescribed with an anti-depressant. I took one pill, felt terrible, and the next day went to that yoga class. And it was so obviously my answer. I’m not bashing medication, at all. But right now, I don’t need it.
On my mat, when I really tune my surroundings out, I forget everything. I can feel and hear my breath flowing in and out of my body, feel it expand in my lungs and ribs and even down into my toes. I can feel it leaving, hollowing out the spaces where I’ve accumulated bad energy and negative emotion. It’s like I’m dancing through the movements, to the music and to the teacher’s voice, simply being.
Somewhere along the way I lost this ability. I lost the ability to breathe and flow and feel and decompress. I forgot that I am a person too, even though I am a mother, and I need to take good care of myself. And I know that every yoga class I won’t achieve that same bliss, but last week, I was reminded that I am capable of renewing myself, even if it’s just for an hour. That feels powerful.
I have my confidence back too, at least for now. When Everett was first born, everything I thought I had prepared myself for just slapped me in the face, repeatedly. Like my “knowledge” on natural birth and what can happen. I used to also trust my gut, wholeheartedly, before I had a baby and then once he came, every notion I ever had about myself was shook. So in crept the self-doubt and feeling lost and insecure. I felt incapable without you here. And I ran along with those feelings. But now, I am putting them down.
I am no longer sleep deprived. I am no longer feeling distant from my husband like in those beginning baby days. I am no longer always worried about my house and its upkeep. Even better, I’m done worrying about making a five star dinner five nights a week. I am learning how to cook simply, quickly and with little clean up afterwards. I do things throughout the day that make me happy, like walking in the abandoned basketball court by my house, singing “Hey Ya” and “Freek-a-Leek” out loud. I know if somehow happened to see me walking with the stroller and dog, singing lyrics like pretty face and some cute lips, earring in her tongue and she know what to do with it, one might call the cops and Child Protective Services. But it makes me happy.
And those are the songs of my high school days (ha). Honestly, that music makes me think of the school dances, and the friends that I went to them with–they are all still my best friends now. I used to complain that I didn’t have “mom” pals, but the reality is, even though my girlfriends don’t have babies yet, they will. And in the meantime, I am fortunate to have the same people in my life who grew up calling you Mrs. Norris. I love my friends–I don’t care if we are on different pages.
It just feels good to feel so good again.
I have embraced being a mother–I am completely owning it now. I am confident. I am enjoying my baby. I feel beautiful again in my skin and in my body. And I can listen to myself again, without doubt, without other people’s input.
I am a good mother.
I am a good wife.
I am a good sister, daughter and friend.
I have found myself again. And I’m sending you so much love.