Dearest Kira and Luca,
We are in the middle of raising you through the most important part of your becoming a “human” (I put that in inverted commas, because you are not). Your dad is a rock star. Your mom is an undercover vigilante and if uncovered both of us will physically dismantle what is attempting to break you.
I have watched your dad. He crumbles at you kissing him, he longs for you to answer his attempts to play with you. Sometimes you do. Sometimes you don’t. The times you do, increases as you grow. He loves loving you and he loves investing in your learning. Under his guidance you have learnt to love growing seeds, love small creatures, love being outside and started to understand boundaries and rules, proper use of things and loving what you have.
I love you. I love your arms around my neck. I love the hugs and kisses. Luca, I was looking at your tiny fingers last night as we did our night feed. You are so perfect. Kira, this morning you walked out of your bedroom and you just wanted to be hugged. I will hug you until I cannot anymore. I love both of you. I love calculating your nutrients, I love making sure you took in enough fluids, I love thinking about what you need to learn next on your development.
We both have found ourselves in finding out who you are. You are still becoming and through you, so are we. We are grateful for you.
Please forgive when we lose focus. Please forgive us when we get tired and we forget that you just want to learn and explore. Your only conduit is us at times. We are silly grown-ups and we get tired out by our own anxious minds. My hope is that I heal fast enough to teach you another way.
We WILL play. We WILL dance so much you will beg me to stop. Before long you will be a teenager and just want to be in your room or with your friends. We have so little time…
But in the middle of all of this, your little arms around my neck, your sloppy kisses, your attempts at talking and your attempts at new feats… all of it inspires me to remember to keep growing and healing, to remember that we do not stop learning until we decide to.
I love both of you so much, and through you, learning to love your Dad even more too ❤
It’s 15:30. We left home at around 14:00 to do necessary shopping for the house. We just got home with two lively sprites. Kira gets hugely overstimulated at school (we recognise this problem) and Luca seems to relish the reunion with us…aka we cannot put him down. I know that this is our reality so before they get home, lunches are prepped, dinner is all but thrown together elegantly and Jaco’s lunch is also ready with his vitamins for tomorrow. This is something Lockdown afforded us.
Now, the routine begins. We will transfer all the newly acquired groceries to the house, the school bags and the kids too. Then the dogs need food, the kids too apparently (despite having been fed like just 20min ago according to the school log in there feedback books… I mean, are these things even accurate? Because over the weekend I maybe manage 500 Kcals for the both of them… Mom-WTF).
So, here’s how this happens…stay with me:
- We put down the bags.
- Kira cries because she needs <insert random request this afternoon>.
- Kira gets what she wants just as Luca starts crying for <insert unresolved emotional separation issue replaced by either milk or water>.
- Luca gets milk. Yes milk…unless his water cup works… then water. Water works maybe 5minutes. We realise it’s milk. We give him milk. 10 minutes this time. At least we progressed.
- Kira is already iffy… we are trying to avoid full melt-down with distraction <read screen-time, re-dress, new toy, fun new outside activity or whatever we find to create a distraction>. We gauge the overstimulation. Kira does best with either outside time or complete isolation from outside interaction (again, read screen-time).
- In the midst of this the dogs’ bowls get pellets, the schools bags get unpacked and repacked for tomorrow and Jaco and I get dressed for exercise.
…this wasn’t even the tough part…stick with me…
- Now we exercise. Luca is still in full-on “you-left-me-with-strangers-for-the-whooooole-day” mode so we run when the other one is open, squat tickling between reps, push-up with playful kisses, pull-up only when the other parent can take over… we get it done.
- Dinner. I plate and serve. We fend off sibling blood feuds and eat mindfully… hahahaha no, it’s one or the other. If Luca eats while we eat, we can manage eating. Kira ate by now. This is a fact. She is playing with whatever she can only play with when Luca is otherwise occupied.
- Everybody fed, I clean the kitchen after hubby cleared the plates. It’s nearly six.
- At nearly-six we “wash feet and hands”, brush teeth and dress in PJ’s.
- This takes roughly 20minutes. In time for Luca’s last milk bottle and nighty-night dance.
- Okay, you need to be fast now. While either of us rock Luca, Kira gets a phone to watch her favourite engineer buddy. Quiet…
- Last call of action: pack the night bottles, make tea for the over-achiever parents and remember to, if you haven’t yet, tell your partner that they rock, so monumentally. So much!
It is now close to or after 19:00. Bomb shock has both of us looking at messages sent by 15:32 we didn’t get to read until now, replying to friends and family like “we’re sorry. Kids”. I’m done for the day. At 19:00. We’ve had nothing of each other. We’re both secretly praying for a calm night (AKA Luca will have his first all-nighter or even as simple as nobody will throw up). Yeah.
I love this. It’s rough. It’s dirty. It’s NEVER as clean as I outlined it above, but I love it. THIS is my tribe. These are my peeps. Luca is on the verge of walking. Kira is on the verge of reading. Lockdown is forcing a sort of reconnecting thing I guess and I am loving it. Dirty and mucky as it gets.
This pandemic has given me perspective. This is not the issue. It is the shit. I love them. I love this. I love cooking for them. I love taking care of their nutrition. I love making sure they are emotionally secure after every day. I love taking care of them. Call me a traditional home mom? I couldn’t be more flattered.
Nothing in me has the energy left to fake being okay. Until now I have not let myself let my hair down ANYWHERE or in front of ANYONE. You know what that did? I have randomly over the last month sent emails I regret, made social posts I wish I could take back and admitted defeat to my husband. All of the above have previously been things I just did not allow myself to do. None of this sits well with me. None of it.
I cannot take back the emails I sent to my bosses admitting that I cannot do what I am doing anymore. I told them I don’t find joy in it. I told them that I needed to make a change. They were so awesome and immediately jumped into finding me a new spot to spill my efforts into. So why am I still fragile about this?
There have also been a couple of fragile social media posts admitting that I am tired and frayed. I hate that I admitted it to the world. Why? Because I admitted to being weak? Is it weakness? I can tell you that in my mind it is okay to fall apart, but it is not okay to do it publicly. This is what I am judging myself for. Anybody else can fall apart publicly and I will run to help them up and remind them how awesome they are. The rules I have for myself are not this forgiving.
So what was I actually doing by posting publicly and talking to my bosses? I was reaching out for support and I was trying to change the circumstances that was pinching me. Did I change the circumstances? In terms of my work, yes. When I admitted defeat to my husband, I also succeeded in getting his support and we made changes to the home situation. So why am I still crying in the bathroom every morning and why can I just not look at myself in the mirror?
Failure has never been an option. Admitting defeat was just not part of my repertoire. But somewhere in the process of working through my own rigid, unforgiving belief system I identified where I was killing myself and I made changes before my old self could stop my new self. I am not where I was. It is easier to breathe now. I think I thought that when I take away the pinching the pain would stop, and it didn’t. Now I’m extremely confused. It’s better now. Why am I still crying?
The introspective part of me can tell you that I maybe let the pinching go on too long and I am dealing with post-pinch-fatigue. Much like a patient that recovers from the worst of his injuries in the ICU and gets moved to a general ward, but instead of looking and/or feeling better he feels worse and just wants to sleep. I keep interrogating myself, asking what it is I want? I’ve spoken to myself angrily saying that I need to pull myself together now. There is absolutely no reason to be so pitiful. I’ve been downright brutal in telling myself that I am a spoilt brat that doesn’t know what she wants and is unhappy with all the blessings she has.
There are moments when I look at the little faces of my kiddies and the handsome man in my life and I feel guilty for not being more, being whole all the time. I feel supremely ineffective and therefore by my own standards are failing miserably. My logical brain recognises the burn-out and depression. My emotional side is just so over the up-and-down. I long for an even keel.
Standing in the living room before we leave the house, after the scramble of the morning routine I must have looked really forlorn when my little girl, mid-play, turned around and said “you are a super hero Mommy. Yes, you are a super hero”. Unprovoked. I wasn’t feeling like a super hero. I took those words and still repeat the memory to myself when I break all over again.
Remember this: even super heroes forget their worth every now and then. Feeling useless does not mean you are. Dealing with burn-out is serious and just as real as any illness. Remember to apply the same grace you grant others to yourself.
Thinking back over my few years in life, I’ve never felt more whole than when I was about five or six. I felt my most alive or most validated at around eleven or twelve. This already was a sign that I was forming an idea of who I was and what I am capable of based on feedback from people around me. I knew I was fast to grasp new concepts, studying was not hard, I was very entertaining and I frequently heard that I was “weird”. I looooved being called different or weird. Comments like these made me even more proud of who I was. To me it meant that I stood out. I was different. I was indeed unique. I revelled in my uniqueness. When most of my pears fought to fit in, I fought to stand out, but still be accepted or adored. The line didn’t feel fine then. It became a lot finer as I grew older.
I think we break a little more every day as we grow. It is true that we really do spend our lives unbecoming what we were told we are. You are none of what they say. You are not even what you think you are. A few people are blessed enough to grow beyond this madness, this chronic race to who-knows-what. To some this race has a clear end goal: a professorship, a successful business, a mother to abandoned animals. Your role seems to be clearly defined. I have seen so many people fall into utter depression when Life takes away their ultimate role, the role they identified so much with, that without it they are empty, they do not exist.
What you are doing, is not who you are. There. I typed it. I can’t say I get it yet. I am trying. I am not a digital designer. I can stop doing this and I will still be worth all the worth I was when I did this. I am not worth more because of it. Nor is anybody else worth less because they do something else, something that earns less prestige by the merits of the world…madness is assigning merit by job title. I know more mature janitors than I do business owners. I have had better conversations with bathroom cleaning crews than I ever had with managers.
A knew thought is starting to form: I am not even hurting from the things I think I’m hurting from. My mind keeps the pain alive. If I keep repeating the situation that caused the pain to myself or I keep looking at situations around me to confirm the painful thought, I keep the hurt alive. Right now that situation doesn’t exist anymore. Only the memory and the pain my mind attaches to it. The situation and the pain was real. The pain is still alive because my mind has validated it with other events that seemed like it confirmed the hurt I felt. The truth is that nothing can diminish my worth. I can temporarily forget my worth and buy into the idea that I lost value. That’s on me. The minute I realise what I am doing, I can remember my worth again and I feel the weight lifting.
I am slowly unbecoming all the labels I held: smart, funny, cute, sassy, naive, drunk, infertile, loyal, driven, angry, bipolar, suicidal, pregnant, mom, wife, daughter, girl, human…all of it. It’s taking a lot of oiling to get the glue from some of the labels to dissolve, but one by one I’m starting to see these labels removed. I’m not seeing the same form in the mirror anymore. Bit by bit the light is returning.
My heart aches when I think about the fact that my children will have to go through the same becoming ,and then unbecoming. I can only guide and facilitate the journey. Their choices are their own. Their journey is not mine. The only practical advice I have is to do what your hand finds to do at the time you have to do it. Don’t categorise it. Don’t label it. Be busy with the things you need to get done and find the joy in it. There is joy in all of it, if you stay in the moment and don’t already pull ahead or look back.
There have been many times in lockdown I have thought about this. Every time I wanted to write about it, but either the time was naught or the words escaped me. I’m not even sure I’ll be able to properly word it today, but that won’t stop me now.
The isolation has provided me with much time to listen to audio books and do micro-introspection of my reactions and behaviours. I have re-listened to both “The power of Now” and “A new earth” by Eckhart Tolle. The first time I read them was when I was pregnant with Kira. This time around they have even deeper insights to provide. I know I will listen to both of them again in the future.
From this new point of view I found that I started seeing my children and my husband differently. Other people as well. My approach seem to be less harsh and there is suddenly a vast amount of grace in my understanding of their action, reactions and choices. I just love them. I don’t expect them to be anything other than who and what they are.
This is not what I wanted to write about, but I needed to say it to frame what will come now:
I’ve been really enjoying Kira. Yes, she is very close to three and forming her little ego as we go along. She is becoming very invested in finding her identity and it seems she already needs it to be the best of all she knows. I do believe that we do this when we are tiny and then spend the rest of our lives unlearning this. You are not your abilities, your knowledge or your form. You are you. Your true you sits deep inside of you, waiting quietly for you to find it. It is not better or more. It is not any adjective you can think of. It just is. And it’s perfect. HAHAHAHA okay, use that adjective.
Whenever Kira is looking for something to do we would make suggestions like kicking the ball together or colouring or building puzzles. When she draws I try to suggest that she draws something for me. According to her teachers she should have enough control of her hands by now to focus on drawing actual recognisable things. She doesn’t seem to have any interest in this. I wanted to worry about it, until something occurred to me: what if kids draw what they see? And what if they don’t see what we see? What if they see energy fields, and not the forms of things? What if Kira IS drawing me a bird, but I’m not recognising it anymore because I only see form?
A lot around our parenting is letting our kids develop at their own pace. I don’t mind that she can’t draw the form of things to me yet. I was very amused at myself for wanting her to be able to do this by now. What if she’s right? What if I’m wrong?
Thinking this, I was playing a game with her outside as we sometimes do in the afternoon. She asks me to tell her to do something and she then very dramatically performs for me. I would ask her to walk like a crab, and she does (so cute!). Then she needs to walk like a very heavy elephant, and she does. I asked her to fly like a bird, and she stopped dead in her motions, turned around to look at me and said ” I can’t. I can’t fly”. I actually teared up. I wanted to grab her and hug that thought out of her. No Kira, don’t lose your wonder! Don’t lose your imagination my Love! You CAN fly! You are already flying!
There isn’t a way you can explain the pangs and aches of a mother’s heart when she seas her kids grow into the dead adults we already are. I want her to keep seeing in full colour and vibrant motion. I want her to keep believing in wondrous things and energy fields and chakras and inner light. I want her to not think like we do. I want her to be better. I want her to keep what she has. Why does it feel like she’s learning new things and losing more than we know?
I feel extremely inept at teaching her this. I’m finding out how to do this myself, only now, at forty-one. For all we know children are born knowing more than we think. They already understand “enlightenment” (if you want to give it a name). This world teaches them otherwise. It taught us otherwise. I believe Jesus knew this when He said “be like a small child”. They worry about nothing. Not food or where it will come from, or clothes, or money for bills, or bath times, or brushing your teeth, or salaries, or titles and accolades, or brand of cars, or location of our homes… until we teach them otherwise.
Lord, please help me guide them to keep what they already know. Guide me to relearn everything I forgot.
In Western culture we have this idea that there is a fixed path to life: you’re born, you finish school, you should preferably complete a qualification, get a job and build a career, get married, have children, retire, move to a care unit and die. Sorry, that was morbid.
Sometimes we realise how silly this is and we say that we can do this in any order we like and even, maybe, not do some of this at all. We are enlightened, we are free spirits, we rebel against the structures forced on us. Then you look back and you pretty much walked the walk anyway.
Now, nobody told me that if you are one of the lucky few that know your purpose in life, you also need to know that this can shift. This can change. You may also one morning on 28 July 2020 wake up and realise that “your life purpose” as you understood it was more of a framework for what can happen inside it and not at all what you thought it was…for instance.
I was 16 when I knew what I was born to do. I understood it very clearly. Funny thing is this THING can be done in any and all places, while having kids or not, having a job or not, having a corporate career or not… so why did I equate this purpose to having a successful career at all? Something in me knows it has more to do with my egoic needs and nothing to do with understanding the connectedness I got a glimpse of all those years back.
Now, sitting in the living room, in the middle of a pandemic that shifted everything around, hubby and I are talking about a shared vision to change where we add value. Does it have something to do with being over 40? Maybe. Does it have something to do with finally understanding how we want to live? Maybe. Is it tossing this young family into lockdown just long enough for us to become openly honest about who we are and what we want and realising we actually felt the same and wanted the same thing all along? Yes my Love.
I cannot in good conscience continue in this insanity: doing a job I know I have shifted out of alignment with, ignoring the forming idea that now clearly has been forming in his head too. I haven’t spoken to him before yesterday and yet we both were echoing the same thing. Want to know how I know God made us a team? THIS IS HOW!
Every cell in my body is simultaneously excited and on edge. I have no idea how this will happen, but it will. The wheels have started turning and from experience there is no stopping it. I do know that the madness of a life that does not make sense anymore has birthed a new child to foster and nurture. It sits right. It feels blue and green and round…laugh if you like. Feelings have dimension in my mind. What do they look like in yours?
“Last night Jaco and Kira were playing around again and for the slightest of moments I got to just look at him and everything in me wanted to freeze time. I love him so much. I care for him even more now than I thought was possible for another human. I understood this feeling towards Kira. Nature makes sure that as a mom your maternal instincts assures this feeling. What I feel for Jaco now is because of the Dad he is and the safety he provides for our family. I appreciate him and in getting to see the depths with which he cares for us, I have grown in my admiration and respect for him as the head of this household.”
I wrote this. I wrote this just before Luca came. It was the 9th of October 2019. Luca is here now and all I can say is that I want to write this all over again, just with Luca in it.
What happened for us is that hubby had to talk to me more than once about trying to handle all of it on my own. He wanted to be a part of both of their lives. I can see him loving Luca as he loves Kira. My heart burns with this. Not just the love and care he shows me, but the love he shows our children. Men, do you want to know how to show your women you love them? This is it. Love your offspring. And then hold your wife like she is the mother of your children and this matters.
Jaco-love, soon you will celebrate another birthday. The kids and I have been planning for at least a month. I want you to know you are loved and respected. Happy birthday my Handsome! I love you!
Sometimes the best you can do is not what you think it is. It isn’t just an 85kg deadlift. It isn’t just staying up most of the night with two of your tiny offspring.
For the last few days God has been telling me again how He knows I am stronger than I think I am. He’s told me this before, also at a time I felt I wasn’t strong enough.
Right now, both hubby and I are into our forties raising little ones all below 3. I find we’ve instinctively found a way to tag-team this parenting stuff. Kira is 2,5 years old and finding herself has been challenging for everybody but our little boy of 12 weeks. He just smiles at anybody willing to sit still with him for long enough.
I tell people Luca needs a lot of attention, but to be honest, I spend half as much time with him as I did with Kira when she was this little. My heart sinks when I think about the fact that he needs to ask for it.
Truth is I’m more comfortable this time around. I’d be on the other side of the house when he wakes up. With Kira I spent most of my time within 10 feet of her to make sure she’s never alone…did I create my little girl to be needy or overly emotional? I hope not. Is her terrible emotional outbursts part of how sheltered I raised her? I really hope not.
It’s funny how we allow just about anybody able to make a child to have one. I mean, it most definitely is the hardest thing I’ve ever tried. Not only am I challenged, but I am very aware of the fact that if I do this even slightly wrong, I can lose my husband and deliver two very incapable humans to the earth. I’m talking microns of an inch to the left…
This is the epicenter of stress. Having a job interview or resigning to chase your dreams suddenly seems like nothing. I sit next to a sleeping Luca, preparing to pick him up out of his sleep to go to a chiropractor who will try to adjust him a second time to help with his colic, all the while wondering if his screaming sister and stressing, over-tired parents isn’t contributing to his spasms.
Hubby turns 42 on Friday. Today is Tuesday and I’ve been getting the kids in tow to make his present special. In the meantime, both Luca and I are battling a tummy bug and Kira seems more intent than ever to rule the house with her temper and discontent…
I am stronger than I think I am. I am as strong as I am because I am not alone. Thank You God.
I’ll just get right to it:
Last night I prayed that our night will be calm (for all 4 of us). I also prayed that Kira will wake up in a good mood and Luca will sleep. I prayed that Jaco will get to REST and be ready for the week. I somehow left myself out.
Kira did wake up well. Luca…kind of slept better than the previous 4 nights. Kira did get into my side of the bed at 02:41. Luca just finished nursing around 02:30. He wasn’t really back to sleep yet, but I knew Jaco would help and slide over to calm him if he woke up. I picked her up and carried her back to her bed and as usual lay down to sleep with her until she settled.
This wasn’t the bad part. This has been the ritual for quite a couple of nights. I actually woke up feeling sore, but fine. Kira woke up well, as I said before. Let me explain the morning:
We had a good morning. She’s a little slimy right now so I give her some meds before school. Somehow I looked somewhere else for a bit and she ejected the whole syringe of meds into the air and all of it landed in my clean hair (I actually took a shower last night). I wasn’t angry at her. I was irritated, as the one thing I hate more than ironing, is washing my hair.
Then, Luca was supposed to eat around 05:30 (we leave the house around 06:15). If he does so, the schedule continues as normal. Since yesterday he has been apposing said schedule with utmost vigour. I was ready to try and feed before we leave. He was indeed hungry, but also fussy. The few sips he took did not last beyond the driveway. He screamed and fussed all the way to Kira’s school, where I needed to try and drop off a clingy toddler after trying to use the time in the car to set a positive mood for her day. I really did well under the circumstances. She cried anyway as I left her there. I know by now she stops fast after I left and really enjoys the day. So I tried to reset my mood once more.
I pushed off with Luca in the pram from Kira’s class to the car. My bladder needed tending. I was going to sign Kira in at the register in front and quickly use the bathroom before loading Luca. No sooner were we in front (where there was suddenly no personnel to be seen) when he started howling a heart-throbbing cry). I signed her in and resolved to use the bathroom at home.
I pushed him out in the pram, got to the car, locked the wheels. The pram was stationary as I unlocked the car, opened the door and lifted the baby seat from the travel system, Luca secured in it. As I swung him towards the cradle in the car, the pram started rolling backwards towards the road, where MULTIPLE parents are hurtling towards their various destinations. I literally through Luca (in his seat) into the cradle and jumped towards the speeding pram, catching it just as the front wheels hit the road. This was the final straw.
At the same speed, I leaped back towards a now-screaming-even-loader-(didn’t-think-it-was-possible)-Luca and made sure he was indeed okay and not injured and the seat was secured in the cradle. An objective part of me realised that I had no control of my reactions anymore. My grown-up side tried to calm down my frantic child but failed spectacularly as she threw the folded pram into the boot of the car, herself into the driver seat and drove off with a still screaming baby.
9minutes have never felt this long…no I’m lying. Nothing beets a treadmill-HIIT-minute. I know this from experience. But when we get to heaven and God tells me I burnt a good 2000kCals in that trip home, I would not be surprised.
Breakfast was snowball Whispers, a chocolate Twinky and 2 rusks with a second cup of plunger coffee. Yes, I did get to pee. Not sure when. Yes, I eventually hanged over the kitchen sink to try and wash the sticky goop from my hair. It is now 11:11 and I am waiting for Luca to wake up.
My grown-up side did eventually get the handle on my child…after I vomited all of my negativity over my husband…twice.
I’m not sure what to say to him. We’ve been together for 19 years and I feel utterly guilty for all the bitter negativity he has had to digest from me in the last 2 months. We have been talking, we are trying to deal with it, but sleep deprivation, circumstances and an unseasonably hot summer is throwing me with tolerance tests we can ill afford right now.
What’s getting to me is that even though this was just one day, I know that there are no promises of tomorrow (or even tonight) being better. If I were to look at myself as a battery, the charge I do get during the night is not enough anymore and we will have to explore nuclear energy to fill the gap HAHAHAHA…yes. Solar’s not gonna cut it.
I love my kids. I love and miss Jaco sooooo much right now. What I am choosing to focus on is that this is temporary (even if “temporary” means “only for the next year”). Yes, I will have to adjust my parameters for a successful or completed day and I will have to find alternative energy sources. I’ve read that a problem is half-solved when you’ve at least identified it. I also know that I have survived much worse in my life to date. I know I can do this, I just don’t want to hurt the people I love while I figure out how.
Jaco, Kira, Luca: you peeps are my tribe. I love you and I apologise for the chaos. We’ll get the happy medium. I promise. Mommy’s working on it.
I’m sorry if this is very heavy. I needed to write this down. In future our kids or their kids will have the ability to pin an emotion to a post. Right now I just have to hope I have the words to try and explain this.
I was in the car on the way to work, after dropping off Kira at school, when I had this tremendous feeling or acknowledgement of this ferocity of life and the force with which it will move forward, even when you wish you could just freeze a moment.
I paused and reflected (in traffic…there was ample time). In these last weeks before Luca arrives I catch myself regularly looking at how Jaco loves Kira: how they play, how she laughs out of her belly, how she completely and utterly trusts him when she jumps or falls into his arms or flops over knowing he’ll not let her drop to the ground. I catch my own actions as I allow her space to test and try. Some of those moments she would do something new or I would see her understand something better, or she would very creatively adjust a game just enough to give it a brand new twist…how precious is that?
I’m sitting in the car, the traffic is edging forward a meter at a time. I run over what I need to accomplish for the day, and against the back-drop of where my mind just was it seems to have very little significance. In the last 2 years and 10 months (Kira’s age + one normal pregnancy) I have grown more as a human than I have ever grown in my 20 years building this career.
Time management, patience, perseverance, perspective…I thought I had these skills down before I had Kira. The fact that even the way I love has changed seems to be matter-of-fact. Having coffee with unattached friends quickly highlights how far the two of us have come.
Last night Jaco and Kira were playing around again and for the slightest of moments I got to just look at him and everything in me wanted to freeze time. I love him so much. I care for him even more now than I thought was possible for another human. I understood this feeling towards Kira. Nature makes sure that as a mom your maternal instincts assures this feeling. What I feel for Jaco now is because of the Dad he is and the safety he provides for our family. I appreciate him and in getting to see the depths with which he cares for us, I have grown in my admiration and respect for him as the head of this household.
Becoming a parent was easily the scariest, most exciting, most underestimated, hardest, easiest, most natural, most edifying, most enlightening experience of my and his life. I’m not sure I would have really known myself or us without it. I AM sure I don’t want to ever change any of this, no matter how rough and dirty it gets (and it does…often). I would just love to have more time with them. I understand where my priorities are now and it’s because the greatest amount of value flows from feeding the desire to be with them.
But first, let’s go meet a deadline or two. That time will come.
A LOT of things have been rushing through my head. I have been re-reading my blogs, letters I wrote to Kira, I wrote new ones to her, I have been wanting to blog so much of what I’m thinking. Today my cup is running over and I need to pin this down.
The banner on this post IS my Kira-child. She is 2 years old now. We are 3 months away from holding Luca. On Thursday last week the school lost her dummy (aka NANNA) and we went cold turkey. My close mom-friends will know that I am a hard-core-no-holds-barred let-your-kid-pick-the-right-time mom…yeah…until the universe says “hold my milk and check this move”.
And she’s fine. No, she’s more than fine. She’s eating better, communicating, even more cute than I thought she was before (no Pentagon, no need to engage Epic-level-cuteness defence forces yet…yet), she’s sleeping better and yet it was hard watching her adapt. I’m proud of us for making it through this though *high-five Dad*.
She has chosen to start potty training too. We’re not pushing it. No need to as the school isn’t serious yet either. We’re waiting for Spring. We are also moving house soon, so there are quite a lot of changes coming for her in the next month or two. I’m less worried after watching her cope with the loss of her NANNA.
I’m writing because I realised how much of me have been panicing all this time: will she cope through all of this? Are we doing too much in one go? Is she emotionally ready? Should I read more articles on how to help my toddler through change? Am I codling her too much?
I realised something: no, I am not ready. I am scared for her, I am over-preparing, I am over-protective. She is far more adaptable than I thought. She’s going to make it through this with flying colours. I most possibly won’t relax after this blog…or even ever, including her leaving home and starting her own life, but the epiphany gave me some grace I allow myself when the panic hits.
She is not where I am as an adult. I am very careful about mitigating the amount of stress in my life to counter the effects from my fibromyalgia. She is not ill and have no need for managing stress yet. She is and always will be loved and supported by us. For all I know she is far better adapted at managing life than my generation was.
I’m choosing to relax my grip. No, I am not ready. I’m doing it anyway. I’m the one panicing, not her. I will take these lessons and remember them for Luca.
I turned 40 this year. Our little girl is almost 2 years old. I’m expecting our second little miracle.
For much of the first part of our marriage I was aching and cramping and crying away the days for a little person of our own. Some months the pain was overwhelming. On many others it was a distant wish I succeeded in tempering with hope and faith.
I wonder if you’re granted the amazing gift of insight only later in life for a reason. One thing I am very grateful for is the fact that I kept on choosing to get up after I fell. Get up, shake off the dust, keep going, keep believing. If there is ever one thing I now feel got me through those times, it would be an unshakable hope and belief in the yearning that God placed in my heart.
I’ve never told anybody this, but when I was in the hospital after birthing Kira, I looked down on that perfect little face, and I was suddenly a little scared. I kept replaying the movies we watched where the main character would go on a rampage of revenge, and then succeeds, and then has nothing but emptiness left… what if, now that I had my little person, I would be left with emptiness and without a life purpose (yes, you can laugh! I clearly had no idea what was coming).
Thing is, I wasn’t completely wrong. Yes, my priorities changed monumentally. Yes, I had one thing on my to-do list for the better part of a year: “keep her alive”. But as soon as she could, she became fiercely independent and I was facing that same fear from the hospital all over again. I somehow wonder now if this was a subconscious driving force for the decision to get pregnant again.
One thing is certain this time around though. I know that this little person is perfectly capable of surviving without me around him 24/7. I also started trusting my support system a lot more. I have had time to ask myself what I’d like to do and have plans for my life, apart from raising little people. For the first time in all of my 40 years on earth, I understand that I can make myself happy, fulfilled, even excited about my OWN future.
Life really does begin at 40. What an awesome time to be alive! I am deeply grateful for being allowed to get this old. I hope after the next 40, I can reinvent myself again.