Musings of a Mum: 17 Weeks
Dear Baby Femme Star:
My sweet capsule of energy, this week marks the first official time I felt truly excited to become a mother. Everyone tells me this is a pretty normal process for the beginning of pregnancy, since for the most part, you are just sick and tired. The catalyst for this excitement was nothing less than empowerment. After beginning an awesome book about parenting (and subsequently reading half of it in one sitting), I could suddenly see a vision of myself as a successful and happy mother. "Bringing up Bebe" is a wonderful account of the differences in American pregnancy/parenting vs. French pregnancy/parenting. A lot of what the French do makes so much sense to me that it quelled so many anxieties about parenting styles. There is a lot I've learned, but mainly the notion that the French seem to make the transition from 'woman' to 'mother' a more seamless, holistic move. They are still encouraged to take care of themselves, to be as beautiful as they can (and to take the time to do so), and to live their life integrated with a child, not because of and totally catering to a child. They are calm, less anxious, and generally more trusting of their children's ability to learn at a very young age. What was revived in my soul this week, in the place of anxiety and dread, was nothing less than hope. My goodness, it feels divine.
Lets talk about boundaries, shall we? One of my dear friends recently reminded me that we must implement emotional boundaries as well as psychological/interpersonal boundaries. I suppose I forgot that I cannot possibly internalize every person's opinion of my life, marriage, pregnancy, etc. I cannot adopt every birthing method or parenting strategy. I am a sensitive person with a rather thin skin, and have only found a way to thicken it in my early 30s. Oh child, how I hope that you will learn this lesson much sooner in life. How I hope to spare you from the agony of extracting all those critical voices from your being, only to discover your own voice is the true critic and that you are using others as a scapegoat. When we hear criticism of our own choices, and afterward become prickly, defensive, and downright hurt by another's opinion, I believe what is truly painful is actually our own doubts revealed to us within this opinion. Take the time to internalize your doubt, truly examine it in light of new information, but let it stop before it destroys hope and crushes your spirit. There is such a difference between healthy self-doubt and insipid absorption of the world around you. May the voice inside you be always gentle, always educated, always kind, and always empowered. Selah.
Your father had the most endearing dream about you, and as his eyes welled up in tears while telling me, I felt a wave of familial bliss come over me. Oh! I am so eager to meet you and kiss your chubby face and see your father's prodigious soul within your green eyes.
p.s. Additionally, Joel and I could use your voice to weigh in on our debate about Harper's Bazaar vs. Vogue. This month, Bazaar all the way. What did you think?
Musings of a Scientist:
You are a miracle, my child...not because babies are astonishing, nor because birth amazes, but because for an arrangement of energetic fields to coalesce into a pattern that can understand that it is mostly ordered emptiness is a transformation so beautiful it could make one weep.