Musings of a Mum: 18 Weeks
Dear Baby Femme Star:
Will you love sunshine, plants, and the way the afternoon light illuminates dirty windows? Will you ponder earth-worms and lipstick tubes and the homeless man on the corner? Whatever the subject, our hope for you as parents is that you live a life of reflection and contemplation...that you do not feel compelled to fill the time solely with empty entertainments, but that every work of your hands, and your every pursuit of relaxation is filled with thought and meaning.
I have been contemplating the notion of personal identity this week. How does a being come to know who she is and what are the specifics upon which this identity is based? What does she mean when she says, "I just don't feel like myself"? Identity is as changing as life itself, and if she becomes too rigid in identifying that self, she will put unnecessary and tragic limits on her personal growth. If she solidifies that she will "never love oysters!" then indeed, she will never love oysters. If a fashion model has her gorgeous face badly scarred in an accident, how will she now relate to the world around her? Others might say, "Now she's finally one of us" and shrug off her identity crisis as vapid, but since her very notion of self may be based upon beauty, she has much work to do to recover a new sense of self. Pregnancy has done more than I ever expected to challenge my own identity. While seemingly shallow, I simply do NOT feel like me if I cannot clothe myself as before. I used to have a direct line to my inner fabulousness (defined: the tangible belief that you are beautiful, young, accomplished, and capable) and now I am being forced to find it elsewhere. Even as I begin to recover it in other ways I know me to be me (writing, photography, cooking, self-work, reading), I realize that many of those thing will become impossible when I have a newborn on my hands. Then, THEN what will help me feel like me? I admit, daughter of mine, I am so scared of this new identity. But all of my fears reside in a future place, inaccessible to me now. What do we do with fears of the future? My answer is and probably always will be: uncover the words to talk about it.
Have you been enjoying the yoga class I've been taking? I imagine you hanging as if on a hammock or swing, weeeeeeeeeeh-ing with each deep breath. Joel kissed you this week, did you feel it?
It is so tempting for me to bullet-point my parenting style right now, before I even know if you are blonde or brunette, but your father reminds me that it's not so much the specifics as the tone. This is immensely difficult for me to grasp, but as ever, his wisdom pervades and comforts. No doubt you will receive many specific loves from me, and from him - a concept of love so vast it will move you to tears every time you gaze at the night sky. Your soul's existence has brought forth so many more questions for us, thusly fulfilling our notions of a good life...one wherein you examine all around you and let the questions arising within you permeate your being, to pursue yourself in the answers, and to allow that pursuit of self boost you to the compassion and understanding of other humans. You are doing that for us even now. Already, you fit right in.
I am getting more and more excited to meet you. Several blog friends have recently birthed their first-born boys, and the photos of those moments with their miniature persons move me beyond the fears and dreads of losing my fabulous lifestyle. You will be worth it. And when you are old enough, you will accompany me for a dry hendricks martini with an orange twist and we can swoon about just how fabulous your old lady still is.
Musings of a Scientist:
Dear arrangement of stellar matter: It may be helpful to note that people (other sentient matter combinations such as yourself) are either incapable of being that which they would like, or like being less than that which they are capable.
I prefer to believe the former.