Seventh Kransling is a boy, and he has a name![Read more…]
I will attempt to be better at documenting this pregnancy. This is how the third month of pregnancy (weeks 9-13) went for me.
This month was the very worst for morning sickness. It just seemed to get worse and worse, and my resolve to bear it with dignity withered with each passing day. I hit a huge wall at around 10 weeks. Emotionally, I just couldn’t cope with trying to keep up with life and feeling so miserable all of the time. The knowledge that I was only halfway through the worst part compounded my frustration. Dizzy spells, “noodle-arm syndrome”, nausea and food aversions all intensified. I spent a lot of time crying this month. I just wanted to feel better and be able to do the things I needed to do.
In the book of Jeremiah, the prophet is led before officials of the city by the priests and others seeking his death. They cannot find reason to condemn him, yet Jeremiah places himself in their hands to do as they will. In any case, he tells them, he has said the words that God has given him, and his death won’t change the message.
Christ also is led before the court with false accusations by religious leaders. He also submits himself to their rule, despite His innocence and the Divine nature of his message.
In Isaiah it is prophesied that the wolf will lay down with the lamb. Then follows a series of things all diametrically opposed to one another. They are paradoxes; things that should not be together but nevertheless are. These images are touted as symbols of peace, and maybe they are, but there is much tension in a paradox. “I have not come to bring peace, but a sword,” says Christ.
That tension seems to be the sum of my days recently. Keeping balance is an ever-present task. Sometimes we talk about balance as if when we reach the balancing point, we can relax. I do not think that moment ever comes.
Jeremiah surrenders his life; he is saved. Uriah flees to save his life; he is captured and executed. It is a paradox. Whoever finds his life will lose it; whoever loses it will find it.
Motherhood is a paradox. When my first was born, I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to go back to normal and keep ahold of “myself” as separate from motherhood. The more children we added, the more difficult that became, and the more stressed I became. After my sixth, I finally yielded that. It’s not that I stopped taking care of myself. It’s that I stopped caring so much about it. Everything still happened as normal, but I could breathe.
When we reflexively strive for peace, will we find it?
I started writing about paying attention several months ago. It was an unfinished thought, and I knew it, and I wasn’t sure how to complete it. It wasn’t entirely clear in my own head; I wasn’t sure how to articulate it in its half-formed state.
I am still not entirely clear, but I’m giving it my best try, anyway. Over the past few months I have attempted to clarify the thought that precipitated a total paradigm shift for me this year, the former way of thinking and the feeling of being bricked in, and the change and the relief and peace that came and what all else was lost in the process.
Yes, there was loss, but it was a good kind. It was throwing off of “things that hinder.”
That loss can probably be most accurately summed up as myself.
Lose myself? That can’t be good. One is not supposed to lose herself in motherhood. She’s supposed to work very hard to establish herself as separate, to care for her own needs first, and not forget herself while she cares for her children. And to a certain extent that is true; there is danger in focusing all of my energies on my children. It’s unhealthy for them and for me–but I think we confuse symptoms with cause, here.
It is not the hyperfocus on children’s care that is of chief danger to me as mother–it is the fact that, more than likely, I do what I do out of a deference to myself and my insecurity. It is how I convince myself that I am a good mother, something of which I desperately need to be convinced. Because I am motivated, ultimately, by my own self-interests, counseling me to move from focusing time and energy on my children to focusing time and energy on myself only allows the root cause–an over-preoccupation with myself–to flourish, unseen. (I call the result of this the Pet/Pest Situation–something that has its own post in the works and will be published “eventually”.)
When I say lose myself I’m not talking about a loss in practice, where I bolster my self-image by passing over my needs to become a martyr to my family’s needs. I’m talking about a loss in principle, where I no longer judge what I do by how beneficial it is for me personally. Pay attention, Beatrice told me. And I tried to. And when I did that, I couldn’t pay attention to myself. I quit worrying about me. In practice, everything stayed the same. Our days actually looked the same. My work and my rest looked the same. But I stopped paying attention to myself and I started slowing down and paying attention to somebody else. And, suddenly, I could breathe.
the lure of slow living:
on slow living + on busyness + on rest i / ii + on routine + on paying attention
Eldore turned twenty-two months on September the 19th.
Since I have missed a couple of months, this update will encompass more changes in Eldore than an almost-two-years-old update usually would.
Jump to a section:
The Great Sleep Fiasco And How It Was Reconciled
The Developing Conversationalist
I think it was when we were walking the trail in the field, when I was in labor with Beatrice, and Jeremy and I had a brief conversation about gardens and planting and growth and fruit. Namely, about the timing of the harvest of some plants versus others.
Our garden last year had been brief and exciting. We plowed, we tilled, we planted, we watched eagerly. Then plants sprang up, the fruit grew, and the harvest was bountiful. All of this happened in the span of a handful of months.[Read more…]
Miss Beada turned four months on the fourth of August.
If she knew how tardy this update is, she would most assuredly growl at me. She’s a most accomplished growler, brazenly grumbling at her hands (invariably clenched during this exercise) or at her feet (she’s just realized they’re down there) or at the doctor at her four-month checkup (“Is she growling??” The doctor asked, and I nodded.) I am not sure why she does it. It is probably because she can.[Read more…]
I am drowning, I wrote to myself in my journal. No, that’s not right. I’m being bricked in. It was a few weeks after Beatrice was born. I was already back in the swing of things–I had been since her second week. Schooling, housekeeping, childrearing, everything. I had sent a text a friend saying I felt “thin”, like Bilbo with the ring. To another, I confessed, Number Six may be the one that does me in.[Read more…]
Eldore turned thirteen months on the 19th of December.
I will try to remember what he was like then, and not what he is like now, after Christmas and New Years, when he’s really thirteen-and-a-half months old. At this age, change comes constantly and rapidly, and if you’re a couple of weeks late on an update (as I am now) you almost have a different child on your hands than you would have if you had written said update when you were supposed to.
A friend asked me one morning: is homemaking archaic, or does it have value? I answered yes and yes–that we’ve made it archaic by losing both the home and the making, but it does have value. This is part three; you can read part one here, and part two here.
the strength of the stayer
…but Aragorn went forth again to danger and toil. And while the world darkened and fear fell on Middle-earth […] Arwen remained in Rivendell, and while Aragorn was abroad, from afar she watched over him in thought; and in hope she made for him a great and kingly standard, such as only one might display who claimed the lordship of the Númenóreans and the inheritance of Elendil.
The Tale of Aragron and Arwen