In late summer, we tied our
Hair back and wrote a few words
Down on a crumpled piece of paper.
Perhaps it was the sangria;
I blossomed into the pieces of fruit
That floated casually in the ice chips
Along the top of my cup.
Dare I say, my heart was a wild horse,
And all the sonnets you recited
Were not Shakespearian, but love,
Like a piece of jade or a children’s book
Carved from the belly of a mother.
Wearing my best blouse has become a
And this is why:
Give me energy,
Give me brown eyes with flecks of green and stoic blue.
Give me radioactive fireflies that shuttle themselves around like little streetlights.
Give me revisions on term papers in red ink and bloody knees.
Give me the way you’re hair always licks at my neck when we sleep too close together.
Give me an Instax camera that will write history for me.
(In fact, give me history.)
Give me shorts the color of orange blossoms and fresh cut flowers on my dining room table.
Give me moving day.
Give me a first birthday for a little boy whose eyes are wide and absorbing all the world has in it’s teeth.
Give me a doctor visit (or two).
Give me the courage to tell you I’m scared.
Give me yellow jackets, white asparagus soup, grown women who can’t seem to grasp the idea that maybe I’m my own person now.
And I said this with a full mouth because I don’t know
Exactly how far
I’ll be walking to you.
It could be a while, dear.
"the best often die by their own hand
just to get away,
and those left behind
can never quite understand
would ever want to
"Cause and Effect" by Charles Bukowski (via cascadingraindrops)
When your body stops responding to the touch of another person,
Don’t be ashamed.
There are plenty of reasons why this celestial vessel doesn’t want to feel the heat of other hands.
When his tiny mouth wails because he is overtired,
Don’t tell him you are, too.
There are a million more sleepless nights ahead and sometimes seeing a super moon through your sky light at 3:15 am is a blessing, not a curse.
He gave you that.
When your friends tell you about going back to school, register yourself.
When you’re doubting whether or not you’re good enough now - you are.
When the summer slowly releases you into fall,
Embrace the gradual chill.
Old sweatshirts are nostalgic; you remember the smell of stale cigarettes on your clothes.
When you have to be alone,
Don’t be scared.
Loneliness is learning how to love yourself.
You’re good at that, learning.
Take it as an introduction to adulthood.
Sometimes you have to be alone.
When there are scars and tattoo guns and an idea you know will work,
Cover them up.
Replace art with art.
It’s a decent swap.
When you aren’t sure,
When you’re struggling,
When the days get shorter,
You are good enough.
I named my son after the world famous journalist, Hunter S. Thompson. Something about the way my sweet little moon baby kicked me in the womb reminded me of how raw and organic human life can be, and since I had never experienced a rush like pregnancy, it seemed only fitting to name him for a man that had given me the passion to lead an extraordinary life.
I spent nine months educating myself on raising children. I read hundreds of blog posts and books, asked countless message boards about the best baby products, and wrote myself letters to remind future-super-mom-me that, even though it was going to be difficult, in the end, the universe would work its way out the way it should. I was going to love Hunter more than anything in the world. And I was right.
Hunter was born on a snowy day in February after one of the harshest winters New York had ever seen. The minute I heard his first, passionate cry, I new his namesake would suit him perfectly. My husband held my hand tightly, and in that instant, it was as though every piece of me folded into him. We had created the most perfect, 10-pound hunk of love that had ever existed. I was in bliss.
Two weeks later, and the lack of sleep and troubles with breastfeeding started to wear on me. I felt alone once our friends and family stopped visiting. My husband and I barely spoke, seeing each other only in a fog that never seemed to dissipate. Climbing into bed, I would lie awake, wondering why I felt so disconnected from my son, my husband, and my home. It became one of the most daunting questions I had, one whose answer never seemed to come.
My mood began to shift drastically. I would sob relentlessly in the shower as the warm water poured over me and my husband stood stoic at the doorway, unsure of what to say. I would scream about how guilty I felt for not being happy every moment of the day. I struggled. Moments later, my husband and I would fight like animals, and I would bubble over with misdirected anger. In the mornings, sipping cold tea, I regret the words of the night before as I stroked my son’s hair, wondering how I ever lived without him. An hour later, I would ask myself why I ever had children, why I gave up my glamorous 25-year-old life for dirty sweatpants and an aching C-section scar. I was confused, scared, elated, miserable, calm, and a nervous wreck all at once. And I had no idea what was happening.
I stopped answering phone calls and spent every waking moment beating myself up for not loving being a mother. I continued to struggle with nursing, and berated myself over that, as well. I shrunk into the corners of my house when my husband would spend time with the baby, staring at the chipping paint, completely dazed. Hearing my son cry at 3:30 every morning would rip me apart. I was so exhausted, so I would silently beg him to sleep, just for a few minutes of silence. When he was finally resting, I would pray he’d wake up so I could see his beautiful eyes looking up at me, as if, somehow, his innocent gaze would heal me. Undeniably, the connection I had to my son was real, but so were my unbalanced emotions.
I knew there was something wrong, so for the sake of my son, I began to research. I typed, “baby blues that won’t leave” into Google, and was surprised to see the answer. Post partum depression. Those three little words rattled me, and I trembled as I read the all too familiar symptoms, the accounts of real women, and the medical journals chronicling the journey of post partum mothers. The thought terrified me. I couldn’t, I thought to myself. Only crazy people have post partum depression. Not me. Not me.
At my lowest, I considered divorcing my husband and thought my life was meaningless, unlivable. I was vulnerable and aching with a thumping pain that refused to resolve. At my highest, I boasted about all the milestones Hunter made because of my nurture and care. But the issue wasn’t with my fake sense of confidence, or how indecisive I had become, or the unknown direction I was heading in. It was with my drastic mood swings and how this tiny human being that I loved with all of my celestial and physical heart could simultaneously have brought me to this ditch, this deserted road, where I felt as if I were missing pieces of myself. I was lost and lonely, suffocating in great unknown that is motherhood. So I made the very difficult choice to seek help, and I am so thankful that I did.
Months later, and, although I still sometimes feel like I’m drowning, I’ve learned how important it is not to neglect myself for the sake of saving face. Despite my initial embarrassment about having post partum depression, the support I’ve received from my husband, my friends, and my family has been overwhelming. While I sometimes still feel my feet sinking, I remind myself of a quote by Hunter S. Thompson, and I smile.
He wrote, “All my life, my heart has sought a thing I cannot name.” And I know now what he was referring to: my son, the 10-pound hunk of love, which has made my life worth fighting for.
"The coldest day of the year
was warmer than I expected. I have forgotten
the order of seasons, traced your name in the sky
to watch the mist unwrite it. You must have seen this
coming, the letters you’d send me, the silence
thefaultsinbeingawallflowerr said: the only reason i dont want to get married/have a baby is because i know i wont have anyone to invite to my bridal/baby shower.
I’ll tell you something an old friend once told me. If you’re doing (or not doing) something because of other people, then you’re not living up to your own potential. The big things that happen in your life - your true friends will be there. Don’t expect anything from those who aren’t around. They weren’t worth it anyway.
a-new-american-classic said: I am equal parts addicted to and terrified of love, and I think it's become the biggest complication in my life.
"The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility." -Paul Coelho
Tell me something about you.
Incubus is one of those bands that reaches into the very depths of my soul and reassures me everything is going to be alright.
The air conditioner hums at eleven pm and I am braless in a hotel bed. Legs sore and my heart wilting like a summer annual. “You don’t understand,” she says, through the telephone line. “Let’s promise not to turn into our mothers.” And I laugh, because I’m already there.
I have clothes stuffed into a tiny suitcase and his little shirts and pants in the bottom of a laundry bag. I have chocolates on my nightstand, sagging skin, a new lease on who I ought to be, and arguably the best lobster salad I’ve ever tasted in the mini fridge. I am tired and my hair is soaking wet, but New England whispers to me so sweetly that I find it difficult to feel the bite of the stale, cold air nipping at my ear lobes. Tomorrow is hectic, but I tell myself that, regardless of timing, I will have another journey crossed off of my list.
Everyone always says that having a kid is the most beautiful thing you could do in this life, but I’m on the fence. He is the light of everything, the only reason I even still breathe, but things have changed so drastically. Every step is calculated, waning on his mood or my aching body because in the end, it’s all on him. I wish more mothers would be honest about this stage. I would never want another woman to feel alone in wanting just a few minutes to herself. I’ve been there, sister. Sometimes I beg him to sleep.
And as Rhode Island gives itself to the crescent moon, I tie my hair in two knots, drag my cigarette, and fondly think about the next twenty years, as though I can predict what happens next. Maybe we will meet again.