The female being has been chosen by the creator to be the portal between the spiritual realm and the physical realm; the only force on Earth powerful enough to navigate unborn spirits onto this planet.
Everett is now almost two months past the two year mark. He’s becoming a little boy right in front of my eyes, suddenly seeming giant in his stroller, high chair, crib and car seat.
Ever since his birthday, I’ve noticed something different each day that propels him forward into mini boyhood–a new word, a new mannerism, a new understanding. A part of me feels proud that I’ve guided him this far, yet another cannot believe he was once the little baby I’d swaddle and rock and hold close to my chest.
Which speaking of babies, I’m finally anticipating this second addition’s arrival.
We had the 20 week anatomy sonogram last week, and I felt much more emotionally connected than I did at the previous one. While Chris chased Everett around the room saying no fifteen times over, I stared at the little black and white projection screen, lost in wonderment, as the technician whirled around my jellied belly and looked for the makings of a healthy baby.
She checked the chambers of the heart and took measurements of little details, from the baby’s head shape, to the umbilici cord and the size of its thumb.
It was so temping to find out the sex. The technician said she was able to tell, and I couldn’t believe she held that information in her head–she knew if Everett would be growing up with a brother or sister!
But I don’t feel ready to know yet. I truly like keeping it a surprise, and especially love seeing everyone’s reaction when Chris and I say we don’t know if it’s a boy or girl. Most people are shocked and then almost all reply with, “Well, there are few true surprises in life!”
When I think about packing two different colored outfits in my hospital bag, I feel giddy. I’m so excited that I’m pregnant. I’m so excited that we are growing our family, and I’m absolutely thrilled that this time I’ll have the hospital experience, getting to sit in bed while my family and friends meet the new life I just brought into the world.
After Everett was born and immediately transferred to the hospital with Chris, I had to stay at the Midwife Center for four hours, a span of time that I honestly can’t recount because it’s been blocked from my memory. What I do remember is when Chris came back for me, I simply sat up from the bed, my pants stuffed with pads and icepacks, and walked down the hallway, out of the center, passing the nurse’s room on my out and casually saying, “Bye! Thanks!”
They panicked and all looked like they were going to communally hurl, telling me I had papers to fill out and information to hear before being discharged. All I wanted was to hold Everett and the thought of that initial separation isn’t something I ever think about, but right now, it’s making my eyes well up. How frightening that must’ve been.
But I feel brave when it comes to this birth because I know separation cannot happen like it did prior, at least not from different facilities. I know I’ll get to stay in one place. I know Chris will remain with me. And I think I want Allison there when I deliver.
The two of them have developed a brother sister relationship, something that makes me love my husband even more. He consistenly calls her Saus (her family nickname) and asks every Saturday if she wants to come over for our Green Mango takeout night. And Allison can freely squeeze out his solid and practical advice about things such as credit card scores and how a man should treat her.
It’s special to see your spouse and siblings together. She won’t only be my support at the birth, but Chris’ too, as funny as that may sound.
I still have a ways to go though until all of that, so I won’t say anymore–but it does feel good to be looking forward to the near future, a very different mindset from where I was a few months ago.The second trimester of pregnancy really is the best, both physically and mentally.
As I said, Everett is growing at a pace I cannot keep up with. He is a true 4T in all clothes, and his stalky build allows him to plow and push through anything. Chris’ side of the family calls him Tank, for good reason. He’s not overweight in the slightest, just as solid as could be.
At his two year check-up, he measured 90% for both height and weight and my inner cheerleader silently shouted, That’s my boy!
He plays outside in our yard all day long, doing I’m not sure what. There aren’t many toys out there, but he finds sticks and little garden shovels and entertains himself in hidden rain puddles and piles of dirt. Sometimes he’ll come inside with mulch stuffed inside a back pocket, zippered up as if he’s saving it for later.
And he loves his toy lawn mower. We were at The Home Depot the other day to get him play sand, and when he saw the mowers all lined up, he said, “Wowwwww,” all serious and in amazement. Chris got a kick out of that one.
When Everett makes up his mind and doesn’t get his way, he now throws a fit, as I’m sure most toddlers do. He’ll squeeze his little fists together in frustration, or throw himself backwards on the floor to protest.
Usually I’ll bend down to his level, turn his shoulders towards me and say, “Look at mommy.” His sad eyes will immediately come to match mine, waiting for my words to reassure or fix the situation.
I’ll say things like, “It’s okay, we just have to stay inside because it’s raining. Do you have to go nunnies?”
In which he’ll reply with a very loud and long nooooo! And that little threat of sleep almost always makes him stop a fit. If it doesn’t, then I ignore him and trust the anger will run out of his system naturally.
I don’t know if either of these are “good” parenting tactics, but they work in this household. The other alternative is to yell, and when I join in on his big display of emotion, it only makes for double tantrums.
I freely admit that often I accidentally burst and cringingly cry out, “Everett!” and his whole body startles and his eyes get big, and I hate myself for making what truly looks like an innocent creature feel scared.
I’m not a mushy parent. There is a time to yell. There is almost always a time to lose your shit. But as I’m continually trying to be aware of my emotions and how I’m feeling energetically, I don’t wish to step off the line of balance that I work really hard to achieve, just to yell at him for painting his face with vanilla yogurt.
Before a nap and before bedtime, he insists on reading The Lorax. I catch myself throughout the day reciting lines, saying in my head:
Mister!” he said with a sawdusty sneeze…
I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees!
I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues,
And I’m asking you sir, at the top of my lungs…
What’s that THING you’ve made out of my truffula tuft?
Sometimes in the car, I’ll say this memorized phrase in my funny reading voice, and glance back at Everett (sitting forward now like a big boy!), who is gleaming, balling his hands together by his smiling cheeks, like his Mom and the Lorax are both just too cool to handle.
He eats a packet of oatmeal each and every morning, and I swear 95% of his mass is made up of oats. He loves it. After he’s done, he hands me his bowl, I take him out of his chair, and he runs over to the couch, waiting for me to put on a movie.
Recently though, this small window of movie time has been forgotten about; he’d rather get right outside, which is obviously awesome.
And whether he’s on the couch or frolicking in the backyard, I make my breakfast. It’s twenty or so minutes that I cherish, and it’s time that I get to myself to mentally start myself out right for the day.
Sometimes I’ll catch myself cursing that I broke my egg yoke, and then feeling pissy when I eat it, which is absurd. And that momentum can easily pick up, when for example, I go upstairs to brush my teeth afterwards, and Everett follows me, opening up the vanity cupboard and spilling out each individual hot hair roller from its resting peg.
I’ll get flustered, frustrated, and before learning the power of awareness, I wouldn’t know how to separate myself from those emotions, so I’d absorb them and continue carrying them with me for the rest of the day, allowing the fellow feeling of worry to follow me around and join the mental party.
But why worry? It’s truly the most useless yet troublesome thing about my thoughts.
Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don’t want.
The power with awareness comes with not only stopping the stream of negative thought, but it can halt worry completely.
When I catch myself circling scenarios around in my head, trying to reach for an invisible answer, I stop, knowing I cannot benefit from it, and try to think of something else.
Remember in the last entry I talked about that natural forward flowing stream? Well worrying is moving upstream. And the more time I’ve been spending floating down river, with the understanding that I can’t control much, just the way I feel (and therefore the energy I’m sending out/what energy comes back to me), working upstream feels so incredibly hard and a waste of time.
I can’t stress enough how much everyone would benefit from sitting and breathing and observing and checking in with themselves and their higher power, even for just five minutes a day. It’s something I wish I could’ve taught you when you were still alive.
And with this consistent meditation, comes strengthening your intuition, which has become my new personal pal. With a clear mind, I can sometimes hear it, not just feel it. And it’ll say, grab this book, call this person, get this coffee, creating coincidences throughout my day that prove a higher power is real, somehow magically orchestrating the evidence.
At times, this “proof” makes me question how I’m not always in a state of awe, to be a literal part of the beauty and brains that is the Universe. When people complain about insignificant things, when they beep their horns one two many times and flick me off for not changing lanes fast enough or whatever it is–I feel sorry there are humans so consumed in matters of no consequence.
And I feel sorry that there are people who act as if living is serving some sort of favor. Those are the ones who’ve never experienced a loss like that of a young mother.
I’ve reached a point now though, where your death feels so…I don’t know….normal. It feels normal to go to Dad and Terri’s and not see you there. It feels normal to not be able to call you for help. It feels normal when you’re not here turning another year older for your birthday in April.
In fact it all feels so normal, that sometimes I feel guilty for thinking of your death as tragic, as if my psyche is whispering, What’s the big deal? Everyone loses their parent at some point. There are worse things–some people lose their children.
Time has a strange way or warping grief.
I saw a picture of you the other day, a blown up black and white one that Nana captured while you were holding Tatum as a baby. And I just stared at it, almost shocked for a second because I hadn’t seen your pictured face for awhile.
I forgot that you were once real. I forgot that you were once physical. It feels like such a dream to imagine you living again, that my brain just sometimes remembers the years that you were still alive as “too good to be true.”
The longer I stood frozen, I could feel my body warmly respond to your face and all I could think was, I am my mother’s daughter. I am this woman’s child. She was my mother. She IS my mother.
And recently when I catch myself feeling overwhelmed or sad or whatever the situation may be that’s trying to rock me off this newfound center, I remind myself of whose child I am–that I am not alone, that I was not just dropped off on Earth.
Because I once belonged in you, just as my sweet star of an unborn baby now belongs in me.
P.S.- the baby is due October 2nd, Mrs. Treml’s birthday.