Today - for the end of #LimbDifferenceAwareness month - I have to talk about moving. The opposite of stillness.
Every day with #MightyWoody is at moments an exercise in doing the things you think you cannot do. Albeit most days are quite mundane, but there are times for me when it is a feat of some magnitude to act normal. To move. To move on. To allow my quest for meaning in this occurrence to conclude and to move.
In my final weeks of pregnancy with #MightyWoody, I was working on imagery to help me get through the labor and delivery process. At the time I was doing the stereotypical nesting and spending a lot of time in the kitchen. So I hung this by my window (I got it from a book attributing it to Anais Nin but not sure that is accurate...forgive me!) I haven't been able to take it down.
“And the day came
when the risk to remain tight in a bud
was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom."
I thought holding this image of a blooming flower would help me do the blossoming I needed to do physically to shepherd #MightyWoody into the world. And while that was true, I had no idea what the blossoming would truly be. I also needed to acknowledge that there would be pain.
Blossoming is moving. As much as I want to stand still as a parent - to perfect each precious moment - I want them to go quickly too. I want to know how it ends. So I can let go. (Yes, I am sometimes the person who reads the last chapter of the book to get over the anxiety so I can go back to the beginning and enjoy what's happening.)
It has been painful. The holding on. The hoping and wishing and praying that it is maybe still somehow going to be different than it is. This holding on hasn't been denial, although there has been plenty of that. This has been my desperate clutch for sameness in a sea of overwhelming difference. Having children is an expression of seeking sameness. The sameness (selfishness?) of wishing to re-create oneself in children. And despite the similarity of hairline, eye color or expression, we can only truly be different from one another. And the truth is, I belong to my children, not the other way around.
I am a doer. Which makes moving my natural state. But it has been in the stillness that I have experienced with #MightyWoody - the forced stopping of the whirlwind of my locomotive life - that I have come to understand that my constant need to be a taker of action might be my tool for mitigating the pain of blossoming. That in moving I keep my bud tight. And that the slowing down of time I experienced first at Woody's birth and now on a more regular basis through the shock and awe of him is the risk. He is the risk.
The blossoming seems to be allowing the loss of sameness to become the acceptance of difference that will allow my child - my children - to plant their own buds and invite me to water them. To let the tears come as I hold the right hand of my older son and the left hand of my younger. To see them both as highly individual and unique and yet so much the same that it hurts to point out the primary difference.
So I go on moving. But invite the awareness, the generosity, and the acceptance that this first year has taught me. I embrace the risk of my imperfection to bloom, together, with my family.
This is perhaps, my favorite photo of #MightyWoody. And easily my favorite photo of #BigBrotherAl. Who knew our hearts could be so big.