Today is a tired day,
For you and for me.
You want to nurse a lot, so we lay on the floor of the den
As the rainy day light trickles in
And the time passes
And the to do list isn’t done
I remind myself almost every moment
It’s okay not to finish things
Like this poem
Oh my gosh, Simon. One of my favorite moments of ours just happened. It’s late at night, 11:41 p.m. to be exact. I just turned in an assignment for school. You woke up. You don’t typically cry, just gripe and grumble through sleepiness. I could hear your dad shushing you through the baby monitor. Ha! I went back there and your eyes were open and you were excited to see me!
You kicked your legs and flailed your little arms in your fleece polar bear pajamas. I’m so glad you sleep in our room. I don’t even mind getting up with you. You’re amazing.
Anyway, you grumbled through your diaper change but I got you to smile a few times once your eyes peeked open. You made a bob-bob-bob sound, seeming to say mom, please come on and feed me I’m so hungry!
As I nurse you, sometimes you pull off, lean back and smile. Wow, does that melt my heart. You show me your sleepy, toothless grin and laugh. I can’t help but laugh out loud too. You go back to eating, but I’m still laughing, so you do it again. And again. And I can’t stop laughing!!
And we are just staring at each other laughing. I see it in your face, a sparkle of myself. I see your personality and your light shine through. I feel our bond grow before my eyes.
Now you’re asleep again. Nestled right across my whole body, your head bobbing every now and then and milk trickling out of your mouth.
I’m not in a hurry to get to bed. This peace is the perfect rest. I’ll nod in and out of sleep; finally let the pillow drop from my lap and place you into bed. Your pack and play next to me. Until about 5-5:30 when our tiredness is too much, and I’ve already gotten up 2-3 times, so I’ll remove all the pillows from bed and place you in the middle.
Goodnight Simon. I love you my son.
Sometimes conversations with kids teach me something I wasn’t expecting.
Small human: What are you doing?
Me: Taking my baby on a walk.
Small human: Why are you doing that?
Me: Well, he likes to be outside and moving. It helps him sleep.
Small human: Why do you have a baby?
Me: Well… I guess God wanted me to be a mom.
Wow. Right in the heart.
The hum of the vacuum
The empty new home echo
You’re snuggled up to my breast
Lulling in and out of sleep
I’m feeding you in a lawn chair next to the window.
This is the place we will call home
Our future memories
Hope-full-y many things
Siblings, first steps, laughter and flowers
New pets, broken vases, and finished projects.
This is the place
Welcome home Simon Nicholas.
4:30 a.m. the baby cries for food
Eyes stuck shut
I pry them open with the light of my phone
Yesterday, black men died.
Apparently today, 10 police officers.
I don’t read. I don’t click the details.
I don’t want to know.
My best friend sleeps over, she stirs.
I could wake her, tell her, not be alone
I think of my husband, tired too from the gore.
But I am so done.
So don’t want to know.
I want them to wake up and not have to deal with more casualties in this American war
We live in a war.
All of those men were innocent.
The black and the white.
Once they were babes in arms like my boy
Both tired and awake
In the middle of the night.
From their vaccine shots the day before.
An innocent smile dances on and off his face
He laughs only because he knows me
He knows not of the world tumbling around him.
Those men shot, black and white
Felt this innocence once before
Smiled at the one they recognized.
The world did this to them, taught them to hate and be hated.
Kill and be killed.
Tonight they are the same, innocent and free again.
I sit here and rock
Calf pulsing us forward and back
In the squeaky glider of my smaller days
And hold him balanced perfectly in one hand
No, one whole arm
because my how he’s grown
My two month old joy
But today, he is in pain
The vaccines that keep him safe
But cause the temporary agony.
I face the new pain that parents learn
My tears with his tears
My sobs echo his
I learn as he stills himself
There is nothing I can do for the pain he is in
I love him with my voice, my rocks, my touch
I don’t put him down
I offer the breast
Play his favorite tunes
(So I think)
But all I can do
Is be present with his pain
I can’t fix it
So that frustration can stop there
All I do I rock
As my friend would on the phone
To his new cries and wet eyes
The whines and wails
The pain–Our pain–feels different now.
Together, we’ll walk through it.
Today I nursed
In bed as we woke up
In the church pew during the gospel and homily and prayer of the faithful
At breakfast while I ate my bagel sandwich in a crowded restaurant
In a museum on a theater chair
In two elevators
At Joes Crab Shack while my husband fed me bites of fried ocean dwellers
As we walked along the Ohio River past strangers with the wind blowing in our hair
And no one said a thing
Fast food for my crying hungry baby
In the sunshine and the puddles
I have never felt so strong
As when I hold this less than ten pound being
Fresh into the world
My offspring and life and my joy
Feeding him in my arms.