Forcing life. All I can do is sit, nurse, bounce, read, wrap baby in sling, start over. I lay in bed with her, careful not to move to much so I can shut my eyes and pretend to sleep before she notices there is not a breast in her mouth. Her hat has come off in the nighttime shuffle of nursing and I marvel at the tininess of her head. I lay in bed because when I get up she will cry. She will cry while I run around changing my clothes, brushing my teeth, going to the bathroom. I am on an audio leash that gets louder the longer I am away. I pick up her wailing body and kiss her to make up for the time I was away. I change her diaper and talk softly, close to her face. She becomes distracted by the silk fairies above the changing table and her eyes go wide. I take the opportunity to pull the white down comforter over the bed and fluff pillows. This is my attempt at control. Clean it up. Make it look like there’s time to make beds.
If I’m forced to sit, I am in a beautiful place. Our room is bright and big with white carpet and white fluffy comforters that create a calmness and settle my jumbly, obsessive mind. There is a large window overlooking fields and the trees on fire with the fall leaves. I look out it often as I’m walking my baby through the room, shushing her and trying to keep my eyes open. We leave this sanctuary and go downstairs to the green rocking chair by the window. I sit and nurse some more, dreaming about breakfast and coffee.
This life is slow and sometimes feelings of impatience or restlessness settle in. I reflect, formulate, and daydream about the life I will have after this. After what? There is no after. This is my life and will be life in different forms. My mothering is struggling to be present. To not be wishing for a different place or movement. To be here now, not knowing the movement. Growing a baby and a family is always moving, accepting the slowness is my movement. She is my third baby and the most challenging as far as her needs from me. I think how fortunate I am to know this will all go by like a dream. It will feel like a blink and I will be struggling to remember her as an infant, trying to picture her tiny head and perfect lips. I’ll long for her warmness to be tucked into my chest and miss her cooing at 5 am.
Between extremes of chaos and quiet boredom is my movement. Baby crying, 5-year-old yelling at me because her dinner is gross, and a 9-year-old blowing a flute in my face as loud as he can until I get his attention. Then it is 9 o’clock and the older ones are breathing heavy in their beds and I kiss their faces. The baby is tucked in her boppy sleep contraption to make her think she is being held and I breath out. We are moving, another day is always coming.