Saturday, January 06, 2007

For Holly

Today I offer this tribute to my cross-country friend with whom I honor as being the impetus for my early mama musings.

Holly, I credit you with being the one who inspired me to start writing about this whole motherhood transition to begin with. It was that string of long emails I wrote you in the middle of the night, wrought with insomnia-induced confusion, trying to explain this existential hell I was feeling that is new motherhood, doing my best to answer your questions and concerns, one new mother to another expecting one. It was my lame attempt at passing along a light, a roadmap, some tips, from one sister to another, and your returned enthusiasm that made me think I could actually write something of value to others.

So for that, I say thank you.
Bless you.

That I'm still struggling with what to do with it all, how to put it all together in a coherent way tells you just how lost I have become in the fog of doubt.

Either that, or as we grow further into motherhood, and the immediacy of terror and survival subsides as the child thrives, the ongoing and far-reaching implications become mighty and thick; they are motherly arms that twist and strangle. Too vast to encapsulate. Too subtle to articulate. Too daunting a list to actually achieve and matriculate.

Reinvent myself? Juggle career and family life? Advocate for my child? Heal my family's critical mistakes? Heal my body? Save my relationship? Save my friendships? Save the education system? Navigate the changing economic culture? Reclaim relevancy as a woman/mother/wife and thinker? Become socio-politically active? Shatter archaic images of womanhood and her capabilities? In my daily life, and again with my words?

Or lie on the couch and watch reruns of Top Chef and Grey's Anatomy wondering why my life isn't at all where I planned it would be and why I feel so alternately optimistic, and powerless and stuck. And hungry.

Here I am. Everywhere and nowhere I expected to be.

Perhaps I just need a drink.
Or a good night's sleep.
Or a natural hormone cream.
Or a windfall of cash.

Or a job to take me out of here.
That is, a job other than the 10,000 little ones I already do.

And even if, I said IF, I could do it all, who said I would want to anyway?

So here I sit, looking ahead and looking back, weaving, spinning my tales, telling my truths. Words everywhere, spilling, casually, miserly, abundantly. Simultaneously light and dark. Fruitful and slim.

Grateful to know you. Sending love your way.

the reluctant nester AND the reluctant drummer girl...
Marching in circles.


Holly said...

oh! I am so touched!
to think that I could be an inspiration for your words
that have always (and continue to be)
a lift, a laugh, a helpful hint, a life-line, a good recipe, a connection in all this chaos

is so absolutely uplifting and moving I am sitting here with tears in my eyes ...and they are not because I want to throttle my 3 year old with whom I have been locking horns all day or because I want so desperately to consume an entire bottle of wine in one sitting but my 24-week fetus is holding me back...but because your words always got me through times like these.... so please write on. It is I who am grateful.

Michelle O'Neil said...

What a beautiful tribute!

Jerri said...


Keep writing. Pleae keep sharing your wisdom and your insights. And please know we're here for you.

Prema said...

Yes, a love letter to your friend, also to yourself. Also to all of us out here resting in and wrestling with so many of the questions you pose. On one hand I want to say that no matter what you do, your presence is full and shining...even on the couch. On the other, I think it takes so much out of us to mother...that it can take longer than we think to find our footing 'out there' in the world again.

Your eloquence (even in doubt) is large and all around you.

Lee Wolfe Blum said...

The blessings of good girl girlfriends!
You are not drumming in circles...but drumming towards your goals, your desires, and your passions. That is actually what most people are afraid to do! You are a pioneer...a leader...and a independent soul who is in touch with herself during the good and bad!
Keep writing my friend!