About 365 days ago, I shared my birth story. The story of when my youngest came into this world. Not as planned, as they nearly never are, but also filled with a few days of twists and turns and an abundance of life changing love. I wanted to share our story, one year later.
In the past year, this baby has grown enormously. They are so smart, and their ability to put things together is stronger than any of us in this household. The other day, I asked them the cute baby question of “How big is baby A?” I last tried to teach them this months ago, and just forgot about it until then. Without hesitation, they opened up their arms as wide as they could and smiled at me. Amazement shot from every cell in my body.
What I know is that I can see in those little eyes an ocean of pure love, connection, and drive to be active in the human species in a way that pays attention. They give hugs, kisses all the time. They love touch, to be held. They love to laugh. They communicate by pointing, grunting, and eye contact. And they are incredibly in tune with people’s emotions.
Me, I have survived a whole year as a parent of two children. I have much less sleep, a lot more diapers and poop, but so much more joy.
Inspired by my birth experience, I started to strongly think about how I walk in this world and I made many changes. I trained to be a doula and will witness my first birth in a couple of months. I quit my job because I simply could not not be at home with these kids anymore. I also quit because it was clear that the work I was doing in this world was no longer where I was meant to be. I started writing, all the time. I write this blog and also a book and kids books and random pieces on what is on my mind. I am learning how my words help me move through this world. And I feel blessed to know that they often connect with others.
I was overwhelmed at the amount of readership of my birth story. It helped to show me that our voices, our honest voices and experiences, are often welcome compared to the structured world where they are usually not supported, are not heard, and are often silenced. So, I have promised myself to write about the hard stuff. To write the truth of the sometimes turmoil of being a parent. To show that there is no right way, but simply just being. That each and every children is a soul of their own, not one that is to be shaped, but one that arrived on this earth exactly as they are meant to be. My children came into this world amazing and I am learning that parenting is not my job, or really a job. Instead, it’s a gift this world has given me. To bring forth life, to rear life, and to offer my wisdom to their souls along the way.
My daughter has taught me this most profoundly over this past year. She has shown me how deeply connected she is to how she shows up in life. She is so different than me, in her approach to this world. And now at the age of five, inching towards six, her empathy and emotions are blossoming. She is seeing the world through feelings rooted in her heart, her body. She is starting to share them outwards. I have seen her experience the personal satisfaction, joy, that comes with telling someone you care and love for them. She is so strong, so brave, and she is a bulldozer in this world. It’s easy for us to quickly want to tell her to step back, be more careful, to not always be first. But in reality, this world needs a bulldozer and what greater gift than one who will tear through the mess.
This year, I have focused my personal work and growth on releasing judgment, instead focusing on noticing and experimentation rather than solution. I have focused on my body, my heart, my mind, my soul by working deeply to try to love it, for fear that if I can’t fully love myself then I can’t possibly fully love another human. And if I can’t fully love another human then I can’t make impact on this world in the way I want to. That I can’t change my future or the trajectory that we’re on.
My story one year later is one of love. Of releasing the scripts and narratives, the medicalization of my body, my kids bodies. The societal pressure to be someone or something that fits in. I started this blog because I wanted to share the experience of walking the line. The line that includes trying to live within the constraints of the systems we’re in, while also trying desperately to break them.