November 2015 - Warp and Weft

This month, I've been juggling a lot - teaching back to back workshops, baking a baby, maintaining a marriage with Geoff, raising two little children, going after some major remodels on the house (think electrical, re-plumbing, installing new heat & air...everything), and a break in my relationship with my mom.  

Yet this is the month I had a transition in all of my thinking and actions, almost like a lightswitch.  I became suddenly very aware of this impending birth, and I began clearing paths in all areas of my life.  Whole-house organization, over a period of several days, went from paramount importance to part of a muted background.  Organizing our bedroom and preparing it for the postpartum recovery period came into focus.  I located, purchased, washed, and arranged all infant supplies.  I thought I'd forgotten how to care for a newborn, but suddenly, there I was at Target like it was my main mission, buying things like pads and epsom salts like this could all go down any minute now.

I made it a priority to complete any unfinished business - errands, obligations to my students, and finishing out any remodeling.  This may sound strange, but when I prepare for birth, I have this feeling like I may not come back, at least not for a long time.  And so I tie up loose ends like all of my life between the last baby and now can be finished off in a neat rug, regardless of the design hereto.  I cut it, tie it off, make room for it, and warp my loom for the next rug.  At birth, I begin weaving again.  But just before, in the waiting period, there's a standstill where the weft isn't moving.  This is the month the tying off began.

I divested myself of any obligations (including those for the kids' school) that weren't absolutely necessary to my core mission: birth and keep this baby alive.  I eliminated all distractions, save for my efforts to make new friends in our new town.  I dropped communication with anyone who wasn't essential to our needs in the coming months, and I strengthened what few bonds I had.  Geoff took the reigns for as much as he could take over, including the lion's share of cooking & cleaning and, as well as he could keep up with his new job, school communications.  I basically hadn't cooked since April, when I began to feel too nauseous and tired to even think about food when it was time to start dinner.  But now - I prepared freezer meals.  I bought any medications I might need during the birth.  I read Ina May.  I prepared my heart.

And, in preparation for labor, Geoff began quietly observing my actions.  Without my request, he would notice I'd leave essential daily things undone in favor of long-term preparations for labor, birth, and recovery.  And just as he would in labor, he anticipated, and acted.  He was my perfect complement, the hand in my hand.

And all these changes came as the weather turned, and nesting seemed cozy and comforting.  This was a quiet period before the holidays.

In all of this, I made the time to attend the special Kindergarten Thanksgiving.  

I shared this facebook post that day:

I remember my mom coming to eat lunch with me at school for Thanksgiving the year I was in Kindergarten. It was probably only 30 or 45 minutes, but I remember it. Such narrow windows in life for certain opportunities...and this week, I was lucky enough to share Thanksgiving lunch with my first little Kindergartner. He worked hard all week to earn all his feathers for things like manners, hard worker, etc. I know his teachers had to pay extra attention to all the kids, because each child got individually noticed in some way throughout the week to earn each of 6 feathers (that was 42 feathers for them to staple for the class!). Cannon didn't tell me, but his little friend did - Cannon was the first to earn all his feathers. The activity reminded me I should do more to point out what he's doing right when he's with me, too. You'll notice the macaroni necklace he was so proud of in the first picture...as soon as I picked up Gracy from down the hall and brought her in to the lunch with us, she grabbed at his necklace. And at first he said, "No!" But then he said, "You know what, Gracy? You can have it." And I pointed out this and all the other times he's been gracious since then. He's grown up so much since springtime in France, been so many places, has seen and understands so much more. After struggles along the way, he is growing into someone who is intensely tuned in to other people's needs. He lets things that don't matter slide right off him. Neither are personality traits he gets from me, at least not this young, and it's so cool to see who he's becoming. He's going to be a great big brother all over again in about 30-some days, and I couldn't be prouder of him. Kids are like those little capsules you buy at the grocery store that you drop into the bathtub that expand into various shapes like animals or dinosaurs or trucks...to see who they will become, you have to take the big plunge, go all in, and wait. You never know who you're going to get, but it's always a wonderful surprise.

This is what I saw.

 

My EverydayEmily Mitchell