doing nothing v. getting nothing done

Since Dax was born (almost a year ago now), I have learned a tremendous amount. I have learned about babies, about the female body, about birth, about motherhood, about parenthood, about partnership.

I am happy to be able to see my son as much as I do. I never thought I would be a “stay-at-home-mom.” The label sounds weird, even. I thought I’d work a full time job. At one point I even defiantly stated that I’d never have kids. (I said I’d never get married, too, but here we are. I’m happy to be a person who can change her mind.)

One thing though that I truly misunderstood about becoming a mother, though, was the amount of time and energy it takes. It’s crazy to even say this, but I really thought not a whole lot would change. That’s for another day, though.

What I’m trying to talk about is productivity. As a nursing mother whose son refuses a bottle (which is, by the way, totally my fault), I don’t get much alone time. I relish the moments (many many moments) where he naps on my body and I’m pinned to the couch and my arms and legs are numb and throbbing. I know soon, very soon, he will no longer need me this way, with this urgency. And on the days where I can’t believe how long it takes to load the dishwasher or wash, dry, and fold just one load of laundry, I can get frustrated. But really, what’s the rush?

I think of the work I want to do, the writing projects that are just gathering in my brain, the clubs I want to form, the cool things around the city I want to do, the people I want to connect with. I think of yoga and dancing and painting and meditating. I get frustrated.

Then I stop. I take the minutes one at a time, the snapping of the diaper as its own meditation. The nursing a reason to stop, breathe, and surrender to this beautiful boy and the smooth wheels of the firetruck that he rolls over my skin. I am everything. It is all inside of me.

I think of his growth, his capacity for words and their meaning, the way he points at signs like he knows they show a secret language and he knows it won’t take him long to crack it. I will never forget these things. And even if it takes me weeks to finish a simple poem or scribble a sketch of a woman on warm paper, everything will get done, and I’m growing a human, a fresh piece of life. In a few years I’ll still want to draw pictures and write things and read. By then he’ll probably be lost in his own head, too, an artist.


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