It’s been a shocking realization that I wouldn’t actually have a lot of time to do the work I want to do once I quit working. I’m finding it pretty challenging to write just one post a week. And it’s more than being constantly busy taking care of Liam during the day … it’s that I just can’t get enough of him. When he’s awake I want to sit on the floor and play. Or ya know, stare into his eyes and try to make him giggle. I haven’t felt like this since I was in high school, lying on my bedroom floor listening to music and daydreaming about my life. It’s fabulous. I’m sitting in the presence of wonder and potential and it feels like I’m being remade from the inside out.
When I left my job people kept saying, but make sure to keep something for yourself, don’t lose yourself in this experience. And although I get it, the importance of not just becoming Liam’s mom or Slade’s wife, something about these comments has been bothering me. I’m the queen of losing myself in an experience. Certainly I need to find balance when I encounter something new, but I don’t dilly dally when I want to throw myself into something; and damnit, I want to lose myself in this. Isn’t that why I quit my job in the first place? I began to hear this little voice and it’s coming through stronger and crisper now that I’m a few weeks out of the office. I only have one opportunity to be completely, naively gaga about my child; to assume that he is the first baby in the whole world in all of time to reach up and twirl my hair while I’m feeding him. And if the days start and end with us staring into each others eyes, well, how many days do I get to do this before he’s running off to join his buddies on the playground. I’ll deal with that reality when it comes. Right now, this is the reality I want to inhabit.
I discovered Brene Brown this week and I’ve found great inspiration on her website. In discussing the importance of connection she said, “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do.” It made me realize that this is my story right now, this relationship with Liam, and I want to delve deep down into the ocean of connection with him. I want to lose myself in it, knowing that by losing myself I will find myself anew. And it takes courage to do this well. I can’t gain nearly as much by holding back a part of myself. What I’m called to do right now is to allow myself to feel this much love and give myself permission to immerse myself in this new story. Wander into the woods without a plan to get out, trusting that I’ll find the way when it’s time.
I wonder why people are afraid of being present in something that is bringing great joy and feels immensely bigger than them. It certainly touches on our fear of losing control. It challenges the way we view time and how we measure success. I also wonder if we’re afraid that we’ll be left behind when that joy transitions or shifts to something else. Brene’s comment made me realize that I have to own this choice and not be afraid of being completely present in each day. She asks how we practice courage in a culture of fear and I see that I can do this by paying attention to the little things that are weaving my story as a woman. In this, I am becoming exactly who I am supposed to be. The wonder and potential I feel with Liam is as much about me as it is about him.