13 May 2012

Strong like ox, or something resembling maternal musings

mothers day
I was afraid to become a parent. I was to let myself physically change, to give myself unconditionally to someone else for the rest of my life, that I would lose my sense of self in between diaper changes and sleeplessness. What actually happened in my child's first year of life, though, was quite extraordinary. I found a version of myself I wasn't aware existed- one more vigorous, patient, and intrepid than the one I'd known for 26 years. I realized that I was meant to mother.

Physically, I feel stronger than when I was training for a half marathon, which I attribute not only to trading a car for a bike/legs/public transport, climbing our two flights of classically Dutch stairs a dozen times per day, and now having a very mobile crawler, but also to knowing what my body is capable of: creating, sustaining, and reveling in life.

Once when Julian and I were flying back to Holland alone, an older Russian man, upon watching me balance a growingly heavy baby on my hip, slide two weighty bags up my arms, pick up a dropped toy, and make off to the baggage belt for our buggy and suitcases, told me with genuine admiration, that I was strong like ox. I slowed my pace a bit to give the creature in my arms a squeeze of gratitude, for things I feel but still cannot translate into words.

Happy Mother's Day to all of my momma friends out there, expectant, new or seasoned; I am inspired by your courage and selflessness. And happy day to everyone else out there. You've got a a momma, here or passed on; give her some love today.


bicycle basket
baby swing
p.s. This is another moment I love; it's Julian, at one week, with beautiful Sara. Yes, that Sara: goddess of all things. ♥

p.p.s. I love you, Mummy!! What a powerful moment it is for me to see my son in the same arms that held me: 
mothers day