This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...

Monday, February 28, 2011

Own Up and Brighten

Oh what a day.  I couldn't call my neighbor because I was sobbing so hard.  I couldn't swallow my pride and let her see me like that.  I knew I probably should, but just couldn't do it.  When SalBaby had cried through another nap time and my patience reserve ran dry I said, "I'm going to calmly put you down now and go into the other room."  Once in the bathroom I swore a blue streak.  Earlier today I couldn't admit this, but here and now I will: I quietly swore myself silly in my little isolation chamber; in the process "telling" my two month old to shut up and calling him a bastard.

Why on earth do I share that?  It still feels so wrong that I did that.  I was feeling terribly ashamed of myself a lot today.  I was feeling ashamed, unenlightened, debased, and detached.  I share it because it's normal, my closest friends say.  It's normal, comedian parents (leads to something rated R) say.  "It's normal to want to squish their little faces in," my nanny/doula/artist friend told me; "the important thing is that you don't."  I share it thinking that another new parent might come along to this post some day and feel better from reading it.  I share it to be honest about it all and because I've forgiven myself.

After that horrible rotten no good very bad moment I took three deep breaths and got back to the work at hand.  I could have sworn, today, that I am not cut out for this; not strong enough to be a stay at home mom; in the wrong position.  If a bible, or judge of some higher court, had been put in front of me and asked me to tell the honest to goodness truth about my abilities I would have undercut myself.  I was so tired.  So sure I was falling prey to some terrible mental demons.  And yet...even as I cried about this to myself in my most upset moments, there was that stubborn golden core of mine knowing, as she always damn does, that I was lying through my gritted teeth.

Peter did not feel very brave; indeed, he felt he was going to be sick.  But that made no difference to what he had to do.  He rushed straight up to the monster and aimed a slash of his sword at its side.   "Peter's First Battle," The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
I watched an animated film from Hayao Miyazaki called Ponyo last week.  It's a cute fable about a magical sea and a magical fish who falls in love with a boy and gets to become a girl through the power of love.  I really loved three things about it.  First the animation is gorgeous.  Then there's the strong sweet character of the boy, Sosuke, and the enthusiastic strong nature of girl/fish, Ponyo.  But I also really love the character of the mother.  She's imperfect, angry, a terrifying driver, and also deeply caring, wise to the needs of children, brave, and forgiving.  There's a moment when she's really pissed and wallowing.  Her five year old son gives her an unbelievably wise pep-talk and she snaps out her funk.  She rolls over, scoops him into her arms telling him how good he is, and sings a little song that just goes

I'm happy as can be!

She just decides it.  She forgives, forgets, owns up, and brightens.  She next declares her intention to "start with dessert and go backwards" for "it's been a backwards kind of day."  I love that mom.  I love her son and how he takes life in stride, just like all kids do.  I love the wisdom of children.  They don't hold grudges when they're that young.  They don't worry or compare.  They're the truest creatures I've ever known and I'm so glad I'm here to witness it up close.  I'm happy as can be to be the student of my infant, and growing, son.


Anonymous said...

Hey Shana, you are definitely not alone. I have had my moments, too, with Liam. I find that getting sleep of my own helps A TON. I have been beside myself crying in the dark while I hold a screaming Liam, wishing that the people around me would somehow help. But I have found something that has helped me have some time to myself and will get Liam to sleep if he is having a rough time of it - a baby swing. He doesn't always want to be in it, but it sure helps a lot so I can take a nap or do some chores or in your case, write. :) I would encourage you to get one of those, too. Also, you might want to invest in Gripe Water, since it sounds like your little Sal might have some colic issues. It worked wonders for Liam. They sell it at WalMart and Target.
I hope things improve soon and I enjoy reading whatever it is you write because I believe it is really you I am seeing on the page.

Laurie LeBlanc

ShanaRose said...

Hi Laurie!!
There are most definitely supremely easy night/days along with the hard ones. Thank you so much for your suggestions! We've definitely seen that a swing would do the trick because lil'Sal seems to really appreciate jostling and movement when he's over tired.
I think one thing that I must not overlook is that he can read my energy, the energy of the house and Hadj's energy. I think Monday (the day this was written) was a bad day for both of us. We're feeling much better now and I certainly have regained perspective and stamina after two great nights of sleep in a row.
Much Love to you Mama!