Every Sunday evening we drove back to our house. It was a three minute trip but seemed like a three hour tour. She would wind up in spits and sputters. As she gained momentum, the cries were louder, longer and fueled by any attempt at all to soothe her.
Several weeks of this and I’d tried everything I could think of. She wasn’t hot, cold, hungry, overly-tired or pinched.
She hadn’t lost her doll or her best friend. There was no boyfriend to cry over and sister had the cutest clothes ever.
She was dry and bubble-free. I whipped out my done-this-before mommy techniques but she seemed more and more offended by each one. Can a newborn be offended?
I look for templates inside patterns. Will a row a dots to appear just so I can connect them. There wasn’t a check or a chevron to be found, only meandering cracks and no order.
Sister was flat-out unhappy.
I began to see her differently the day one of my dearest said she’s not high maintenance, she just feels things very deeply.
Eleven years later, I can see she comes by it honestly.
I understand more about why I bristled for years when my body was blamed for my mood. It’s not my hormones, I really feel this way!
Fighting for your own existence is exhausting.
Owning feelings carries responsibility. When you’ve slung the weight of the world over your own shoulder, the weight of feelings can seem as heavy as an ounce of straw.
Separating the straw from the muddy earth is next to impossible and you come up filthy every time.
Keep digging, snatching slivers of straw despite dirty fingernails. To rinse them off, dry them out and separate them. Mine. Not mine.
Refusing to add one more piece of undesignated straw to the pile in front of me.
Babies just don’t know how. But grown-ups do.
You can find this entire series here.