It’s a rainy day; subtle, but windy. Umbrellas are a nightmare at this point.
I’m sitting here on my sofa, accompanied by the gloom that has ascended outside my window. I have left behind the swooshing of tires, the incessant honking, screeching breaks; and the occasional “fuck yous”; it was the unruliness of 3rd Avenue. And although many would find that familiarity dull, I was comforted.
My thoughts are rampant. Though my heart is calmed, like the rain that falls now.
The rustling of leaves distracts me, as they engage in whispers. I watch as their dance begins, swaying in a harmonious methodical rhythm, moving to the tunes of the raindrops. Drip. Drop. Drip. Drop. And though their waltz-like dance lasted only a moment, I was moved.
“This is home”, I say with peace in my voice and a quiet joy in my soul. This is home.
I am remembering a conversation, as a summer scented, soft-blowing, breeze brushes through my white curtains, ruffles the pages of my book of poems, which sits on my rusted looking coffee table, and caresses my long bare legs. I lose my self in retrospection.
Life has been full, far from the barren days.
I trace my ever-growing belly with my fingertips. Its egg shaped and hard like shell are scattered with light chocolate and strawberry colored freckles. I find a quiet liking to them. My belly button is almost flat, leveling with my stomach. I’m somewhat intrigued by this phenomenon, although it looks foreign to me. Everything about me seems alien-like. Someone has unequivocally invaded my body. It’s difficult to marvel at this change, find the “beauty” in it, as my skin stretches, expanding in places I vainly wish it wouldn’t. The image obsession of our society is not to be blamed. It’s me. I’m comfortable in my old skin, the old version of me, the one with small jaunty breasts, which now resemble two large inflated balloons. I don’t want them. Then I feel our baby kick, preparing for the daily somersault show, and I’m reminded of the whys of this transformation, understanding its purpose and finding ways to embrace it. Once that knowledge sets in, I relish in it all. But because of those reasons. Because of the whys. It’s a profound erudition that marks me with an irreversible perspective.
The inevitable physical transformation is only a part of the journey. (Who is that person staring back at me in the mirror?) However, there’s a deeper metamorphosis taking place mentally and emotionally too. Since I found out I was pregnant my thought pattern has undeniably changed. I feel like a book of encyclopedia for mom’s-to-be. Ok. So that’s awfully exaggerated, but there is more knowledge. I am a little wiser. A little more cautious, more responsible, little less foolish. A bit more calm. And then a warm thought surfaces, I know I’m going to coddle my baby. A. Lot.
I recall my childhood from the eyes of a mother-to-be, no longer as the absent-minded young girl I was. She has taken leave. There’s a new layer of myself to be exposed and shared. And the most surprising revelation I will make to you is that, I am beginning to feel like a mother. Though I still don’t know what it’s all about.
Motherhood weighs me with questions, but with the same intensity fills me with light.
My thoughts turn to my Mother.
I draw the silhouette of her soul. Finding the woes of Motherhood permanently engraved, I begin to smear it with streaks of black lines, creating dark shades from where her heart is, to her mind, then to her fingertips and right down to her toes. I then pick up a blue crayon, and then a yellow, green, (her favorites) and start coloring everywhere, her lips, her nose, her eyes, retracing her heart and mind, reflecting on the euphoric moments of her trajectory. Sure there were those rainbow filled days, where she triumphantly arrived home with more energy than usual, after an eight hour work day, cooked our favorite meal, as we all sat at the dinner table, devouring the food and each of us obediently responding to, “How was school today?” (I was always first to speak. Not because I am the eldest, but because I was eager to speak to my mom, and did, still do, love sharing my life with her.) But there were also the unbearable wretched times. The days I did not want to be told what to do, and I spoke back. The days my brother was asked to take out the garbage, not once, not twice, not thrice, but ten times before he begrudgingly did as he was told. The day my sister called 911 and pretended there was a fire in the house, there wasn’t. These are only morsels of her story. My sketch does not encapsulate her journey, nor does it exhibit her extraordinary vitality.
(I do not walk alone. I have my husband. Though my strength allows me to stand on my own two feet as we hold hands, there are moments where he carries me.)
Am I entering my glory days? I don’t know. What I do know, is that I don’t want to be molded into someone entirely different. Otherwise, I may as well be “dust in the wind,” as Kansas once sang. I don’t want to lose myself as many mothers do in the process of becoming a mom. If I fear anything at all, it’s that. Though I can definitely list a litany of small fears that supersede. Forgetting who I am, what I am, what I love, like my writing. My husband and I not having time to ourselves. I assume like with everything else in life, I have to find my balance. But I have realized the following in just 5 and a half months of pregnancy. Having a baby does change you someway or another. I mean, that is if you plan on being any kind of mom at all. And instead of fearing that change, whatever that change will be, I am learning to take pride in it and find confidence in that other woman I am undeniably becoming. She’ll still love writing and she will write, and if it’s not as much as she was able to before, that’s ok. She’ll still be left in enchantment when her husband speaks and laughs until her stomach hurts. They’ll find their moments to kiss too. She’ll still love to pop in her Beatles CDs, and perhaps one day share this with her child, explain how The Beatles are the best rock band that ever existed, but especially how their music, helped her through hard times and duplicated the good ones. She’ll still dance, but now she won’t dance alone. She’ll have a dancing partner, her child. And she’ll get to see her husband become the amazing father she knows he will be. So here’s a warm hello to this new self, a new version of me. A I-think-we’ll–get-along–just- great. A I-think-we’ll-be-the-best-of friends.
And though pregnancy is not this breathtaking ride as many would see it, it has its moments of bliss. Like now, when the baby kicks and pokes me on my left side. I stop to write just for these moments.