I have been wearing a rut in the floor boards of my living room from repeating the Sisyphean loop of newborn care for the past four months: diaper, feed, soothe; diaper, feed, soothe; round and round the clock for days and months on end until I looked at the calendar and it was nearly August. Between two cases of reflux, one milk protein allergy, eight different infant formulas, and a motor delay; most of my adventures out of the house have been to medical appointments, and sometimes I find myself quietly driving past the turn for my street to cruise the road that runs along the ocean or treat myself to some drive-thru Starbucks, just to prolong my escape from the cloister of those four walls. There has indeed been so much joy as sleepy lumps began cooing and flirting, as smiles emerged and hands began grasping fingers and toys. There has also been a veil of postpartum something-indistinct. Depression? That word doesn’t feel quite right. Anxiety for sure, and the irritability and swinging moods that follow chronic sleep deprivation, but I’ll say more on that at some other time.
The good news is that I have started to feel a little bit of rhythm emerging, which affords me the freedom to rejoin the wider world in small ways. The girls napped at the same time today, and that precious window gave me a little time to write, to reclaim something of my own from my old life so I can better savor the blessings of my new one. Brainy Harvard scientist say that modeling gratitude is central to effective parenting, So I thought I’d start the week with this:
This is the vintage copy of Winnie the Pooh that I bought in the thick of the darkness, when I hoped to read it to my child but doubted I ever would. Not much happens in the span of my day lately that makes me more gooey inside than a snuggle on the nursery glider, baby nestled in the valley between my breasts, head in the crook of my neck, and the tales of Christopher Robin and his determined little bear unwinding and filling the space in a bedroom that once pulsated with the tension of lack. Thank you, Universe, for these gifts.