• death,  Grief,  life,  Motherhood

    Eggs and Ativan

    I made eggs today. I woke up before the kids did (only by a few minutes, but still) and when two of the three were up and hungry I said, “Do you want eggs?” which surprised me a little and made me smile. A month and a half ago I thought I might be dying. I went to the emergency room because the pain in my chest was only getting worse after two and a half¬†weeks of trying to convince myself it was just stress. I felt foggy and dizzy, I didn’t trust myself to drive and for good portions of the day I couldn’t mother in any active sense…

  • Family,  Grief,  life,  Love,  Motherhood

    We Mother

    During the 20 months of her diagnosis, I made several open-ended visits to my hometown about 900 miles from where we live to be with Mom. The last visit started out rough. The whole family had traveled from all over the country to be together. We spent time at a beautiful house near the beach. Then we passed around Strep throat and influenza despite our best efforts at quarantine so we cycled through lethargy and soreness and the fear of passing it along to anyone else. With three small children, visits to the cancer clinic, and no coffee options (because one hundred million Starbucks and a Peet’s do not count as “options”).…

  • Cancer,  life,  Motherhood

    And there are monsters

    Little ones, You are unaware, yet so aware. You are navigating with us waters we have been thrust into. We did not ask for this. But you are full of grace and second chances and patience and expression. You rail against things you don’t understand (darlings, I don’t understand them either), but then you move on. And move back. And it’s lovely and hard and I admire you. I want you to know that life is beautiful. That people can be… Supernatural. They can love like heroes – they can save lives and find value and beat death. I want you to know that there are things here worth pursuing.…

  • Birth,  Family,  life,  Love,  Motherhood

    Highest Hope

    I gave birth to her on the floor of the Birth Center – right outside the tub where I thought I might die, where I hated her from a reserve of fury I didn’t know existed, where I’d cursed the moment of conception which had brought me to this agony. She came quickly. Her eyes were steely blue, her lips resembled a rosebud, her chubby olive cheeks were too kissable to resist, and she smelled like Heaven. I am convinced. If there is a Heaven and if it has a smell it is that one. The midwife handed her to me and I don’t think she even reached my chest before…

  • life,  Motherhood

    But first, this.

    I am at the YMCA and I am using the child watch shamelessly because we pay for it and even though I have no intention of exercising today (ha! it’s sweet that you thought that, though) I am going to use my two hours for something good. I have lots of deep thoughts to write about, lots of drafts I could go back to, lots of things I want to chew on, words as teeth, keystrokes like jaw bones, but first this. First, I’m going to soak up this moment alone in an uncomfortable chair by the window drinking coffee I didn’t make next to a perfectly unassuming purse which…

  • Birth,  Homebirth,  Love,  Motherhood

    Prize Fighter

    My hair was knotted, my abdomen still too weak to hold me upright, and I was bleeding as I stepped into¬†the most comfortable and undignified part of the Postpartum Mother’s uniform – the adult diaper. He held out his hand to help me out of the bathtub with a gentle touch and I felt fragile. I felt like a brittling petal, my movements were careful and slow. I was studying the floor for places to put my feet when I heard him smile as he said, “You’re so beautiful.” I was wearing a diaper, y’all. I did the head-tilt, the scoff of incredulity, the “thanks, weirdo” smile, but he wouldn’t…

  • God,  Love,  Motherhood

    Grapes of Fury

    He gets it from me. Maybe I gave it to him on accident, through the genetic concoction which gave him those gorgeous brown eyes and that caramel skin. Or maybe he saw me do it when I’ve failed the resistance against my tendencies. When I’m hurting deep I get angry and look for something (or someone) to blame. I look for a place to land my blows. I’ve got 27 years on him and I still throw tantrums. That night he took issue with my placement of grapes on his plate. It was during another dinner far from his table, far from his dad and his dog and the place he calls “home” from the…

  • Birth,  Family,  Motherhood

    Happy Birthday, Mom

    She tells me the story with relish – more than 20 hours of contractions, no drugs, back labor, and “you were sunny-side up!” She sneers playfully while she reminds me that I am the reason she got the drugs with my brother.  I’ve done this now, become a mom. I’ve gone through my own labor stories which I relay with indulgence to the people they bore. I have held my firstborn with tears in my eyes and loved her more fiercely in the moment of her birth than I had ever loved anything, funneled all my hope and imagination and compassion and affection into a moment I never could have…

  • Love,  Motherhood,  Politics,  Race

    Darker Brother

    Gabe picked up a copy of illustrated Langston Hughes because, presumabley, he likes to make me cry in front of my children. That boy looks like my Daddy! Why do you say that? Because his skin looks like my Daddy’s – my Daddy is the darker brother! She is so sweet when she says it – she is excited over her connection, she loves connecting things. She doesn’t know it comes with so much behind it. She doesn’t know why I can barely choke out the words – “tomorrow I’ll be at the table” – as I think of her father graduating from a respected University mere miles from the…

  • Fitness,  Motherhood

    Runaway Momma

    I had given birth to a child – three children – with many more hours of intense pain than this. I had felt every measurable and immeasurable amount of suffering and it had not broken me. I had endured stitches – s.t.i.t.c.h.e.s. – in the, uh, you know, region without much more than a topical cream for the pain.  So five minutes on the treadmill was not going to kill me. My pride had already died somewhere over by the machines I’d spent way too long looking at for instructions. Any pretenses I’d carried in about being a “gym person” or even a person on the way to becoming fit had…