It’s been 2 years and life has taken so much from me and given me even more. Year 2 of motherhood has felt like one foot in, one out, and a whole nother one completely disconnected from my body-but super vital and like hanging on by a thread- that double dutches in and out.
I’ve started to become reflective in this second year of motherhood, this 23rd year of life. A little bit more grateful, validated, lost and yet found, home and nowhere near home at all. Trip #2 felt a little like flying too close to the sun in a sweatsuit but dammit we made it and made it we will keep doing.
And while I made it, I learned, and while I learned, I failed to share; but now I’ll share. A secret, a truth, hardly a lie, and a reflection on the year.
1: I learned I lack boundaries and have a problem saying no. Something I knew but didn’t really know! That truth dug it’s heels in real deep every time I threatened to wean, or even started weaning, then gave in a week or 2 later cause I “felt bad”. Not being able to say no without “cause” has led me to some dark thoughts, uncomfortable feelings, and prolonged body sharing; things I absolutely do not want to keep carrying with me.
In saying no, I hope I am teaching my daughter that it is okay to walk away even when others can’t see the reason. I hope I am teaching her that “NO” is a full and complete sentence and does not require anything else following it. I hope by saying “Nah, I’m good” I am teaching my mother that it is okay to walk away. That holding on and waiting for the reason often hurts more than leaving without a “valid” reason. I hope my “Yeah, nah, Ion want to” teaches my grandmother that it’s okay to put yourself first as a woman. I hope my no’s model that being selfish is not always bad, that being mean sometimes saves your ass; no doesn’t have to turn into yes. I’m praying the more I say “Absolutely not” the more comfortable I get with it. I hope my no’s lead to some really big yeses; some life changing ones.
2: Grief makes me angry and anxious. Things I’ve always been but that have been amplified since my grandfather lost 2 of his children; since I lost my auntie and uncle. I have spent the whole year “tucking and rolling”. Sleeping 5 hours, staying up for 19, fueled by nothing but cucumber water and anxiety and “I’m finna drop you off at the fire station!!!”
As I was driving Bean around the block looking at Christmas lights I realized my anger is nothing but anxiety and fear amplified. I’m not mad at her. I’m scared she’ll hurt herself; won’t be self sufficient, will be “annoying”, will be “bad” and not allowed to be a kid in that very specific black girl (maybe-one-day eldest daughter/child) kinda way. I’m scared I’ll leave her or be taken from her- cause I’d never leave her forreal forreal- before either of us are ready. And honestly, we’ll probably never be ready but I at least need to get my baby to pre-K & Kindergarten & all of the first days, school dances, proms, games… all of them. I need to get my daughter to adulthood because then that means I will have made it way past adulthood and have had a chance to live and turn grey. I’m not angry at her; I’m scared… for her and for me.
3: I am my father’s daughter. Full stop. If you ever wanted to see what a “Daddy’s Girl” grows up to be 👋🏾 here I go!
I am his rage. I carry his fears. I am the anxiety that drove him to the intersection of abuse and affection. I carry that, too. Hell, I’m actually trying to put it down cause baby it is heavy! I am my father’s daughter. His phrases roll off my tongue like they belong there, like he loaded them into my database and configured them to never be deleted. Everything I hated about my father has rolled it’s sleeves up and settled into my bones and given me the choice to carry go or carry out. I owe my lineage, my last name, the “carry out”- the change.
4: For every fuck up, misstep, half step, and second guess my child still thinks I’m the greatest. She still chooses to pry my shirt open and nuzzle against me; be in my skin like she was in my womb. Close and warm. Secure and strengthened. Nurtured and nourished. I have chosen to see myself in that same light; to forgive myself. To hold myself close and warm, secured and strengthened. And while I’m sooo grateful she forgives me easily I want to grow the space between needing forgiveness and just being, or allowing her to be. I’m grateful for recovery but I’d rather save it for the “big moments”. But you know what, when I think about it, this whole year has been a “big moment” for me. I have taken hit after hit this year so fuck it, we can cheers to the recovery and the small spaces too!🥂
See, grace. Secured and strengthened. Mercy. Giving it to myself from here on out while simultaneously growing that space between needing it and not needing it cause I didn’t “do too much”.
While this year felt like: flying so close to the sun I got burnt, came down, got some aloe vera gel, then hitched my crazy ass back up to that same sun-in a different spot-and repeated the process; I made it. We made it. Win some, lose many, but at least I am HERE!!! I am grateful for that and that alone.
2022 you did a number on me. 2023 you gotta show me how good it can get. Cheers to growth, reflection, dedication, and heartbreak. One way or another, next year will be better. Period!