this sweetest boy, thriving and…
this sweetest boy, thriving and…
Almost two months ago there was a two-week period of nothing; just metaphorically dotting & crossing the last marks in an afterword, and closing a back cover. Then, spreading open new, aspirin-white pages, watching everything remaining rush to arrange and take places, like a show about to start. One last thought of gratitude, and then surveying across the clear new, and nebulous.
That very quiet period was a strangely still pocket, not totally unlike just after H- was born, when feeding 5-6 times per day and through the middle of the night left me with a lot of time of just having to sit, and be. During that time I cranked through a ton of viewing and this time, albeit a smaller window, was the following…Read More »
Weeks back, the osprey returned for a second year to the cell tower, viewable from the kitchen window. The nest is newly preened, the male flying low over, ripping branches and twigs, hauling them up and up for his mate to arrange, make. She beds the nest, awaits the chicks. And the river fish he brings to her, hooked on talons, dragged dripping, wiggling over our heads.
Last week, I found a fish on the lawn, dropped in the yard. It was fresh, silver scales, neatly pierced through like binder rings had impaled its back. The head was mostly eaten, but maybe distasteful and thus disposed of. That I found it before the ants was surprising. That I found it before Fred the dog, more surprising.
H- was shown and explained to about the talons, the head, the proximity to the nest. Now sometimes he will look up, cock his head and say: “…’member fish?”
Years ago I had wanted to plant something tall enough to obstruct the view of the cell tower. Now it’s valued, marking time by hosting a paramount symbol of seasonal change. There’s a lot that’s compelling about it, crowned with an immense nest, twigs and weavings sticking over in every direction, the contrast of it.
And later, in the late summer, the young will hop among the woven twigs, try out voicings, cry for days while the parents sit watchful in a nearby tree, coaxing them to hunt and fly by remaining away. And then they’ll all leave until spring again, when the mates return, embodying absolute fidelity and seamless harmony. The silence of the abandoned tower in the colder months entirely wipes clean the slate of previous seasons, like shaving too closely to the skin.
There’s been a bird feeder outside the kitchen window for years. Aside from winter, it rarely gets a visit and when it does, only from the sparrows. But suddenly it’s a sanctuary. The juncos chase away the song sparrows, the red winged blackbirds remove the house finches, the scrub jays flee the steller’s jay, and the single crow removes everyone…
I went off about bees and pollinators… again. I feel like all of these quotes should wind up with me saying: “…and get off my lawn!”
It seems I said: “And finally,” twice… the ol’ bait & switch. You think I’m going to make my final point and then bam, one more point for your face! Thanks to Avital for… well… so much, but especially for including me here; really good company to be in.
Obviously this is a primary coping tool: digging in with this most amazingly tender, funny, remarkable, and clever child. It’s the most fundamental place for me to go — to be in his world whether reading together or using chalk or exploring outside. It’s where I can feel certain that he is safe and thriving and well, versus the worry, preoccupation, and internal vigilance when we are apart. He’s an anchor that keeps me grounded. In turn I pray that I meet all of his needs, as he encounters them.
My favorite thing I’ve ever been is this child’s mother. My favorite thing I’ve ever done was to grow him from scratch, and that job perpetuates in parenting. I don’t take that for granted. It is a complete honor to mother him.
I feel like half of my life is cooking while listening to podcasts. I took that, ‘the nutrition children receive in the first 3 years is vital to future eating patterns’ thing *really* seriously (aside from Christmas cookies). But also, it’s methodical… I’m making something, my hands and brain are occupied (note to self: make 2017 the year I finally learn how to knit), and it generally leaves no crack for the din to seep in.
*A note on coping tools: For me this little series is a way to catalog what helps and what works, because when anxiety inevitably blooms after reading the news, it can be extremely easy to forget and to actively despair. (This happened the other night when I found myself researching how to build a fallout shelter until 2 a.m. On the plus side I learned a bit about trenching.)
Some of these coping tools available to me are obviously rooted in class privilege, as in, I have child care part-time, which means 1) I can afford child care and 2) having it sometimes allows me to create pockets of time in which to partake in the activities that help keep me sound. I recognize that many, many people do not have these sorts of options and resources.
For friends I see struggling now, especially those in targeted communities and the survivors (who are constantly triggered by the president elect) please stay sound, or as sound as you can. Identify who and what helps you, supports you, encounters you mutually and reciprocally, and keep them all so close.