Wednesday, July 20, 2011
If I were to post a wanted ad for friends, which I indeed need in my new home, I might require a quality that I can't quite put my finger on the name of. Rather, let me tell you a story that might illustrate it.
One day Isaac and I were at the children's museum and I happened to run into a good friend of mine, Alicia, with her twin girls who were probably about four at the time. All involved were please by this chance encounter and after the kids had had their fill of playing restaurant and hospital, we headed out together to a taquería close by.
Waiting for our food at the booth, Alicia pulled out of her purse a copy of Gabriel García Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. “I've been trying to read this,” she said simply. “I brought it along in case.” I have always had a deep respect for Alicia; we have fun together; we can talk about all kinds of things; we were friends before we had kids; we've stayed friends after having kids; she has wrapped her mother world into her preexisting one. Unflappable, she acknowledges the changes motherhood has brought to her life while maintaining her interests, her poise, and her personality.
And in that moment, when I saw the book, not only did I again fall madly in love with her, I understood on some level without a name how it was we came to be such good friends. Anyone who carries One Hundred Years of Solitude around hoping to catch a moment when her twin preschoolers are occupied long enough that she might read a line or two? These are my people.
I no longer have the option of having people meet me pre-kid(s). That's an interesting space for me to ponder.
I can remember when Mike and I first arrived in Monterey and I began my graduate program. It weirded me out slightly that everyone meeting me was meeting me as part of a couple. It was particularly odd seeing how Mike and I were very new to coupledom at the time. We'd taken off together after knowing each other not all that long at all and we had no idea where this thing might go, or if it might just die a quick and dirty west coast death.
I am still relatively new to motherhood and now I will become new all over again. Different baby. Different phase. Different rules. But soon, people passing me on the street will just see the ladywiththebaby. The mom. I have yet to reconcile completely with my mother identity, but in some kind of insane apprenticeship, I've decided the best way to get there is to try again.
We call the baby “Baby-Baby.” Since Isaac will always be my baby, the logic goes that this one must be Baby-Baby. Isaac has somehow shortened it recently to sound a bit like Elvis, lip curled: “Bay-buh-Bay-buh,” he'll pronounce. Our Vegas star will be here in another month or so.
I wrote so much poetry during the time I was pregnant with Isaac, and I've basically written close to zero in the last eight months. I feel the desire to get some out about this pregnancy before it's over, before the new little one appears. It will be the last time I carry a child like this, from within the intimate space of blood and darkness. I am cautious of what things the power of another being will shift in our lives, just as I am also enamored of him/her, protective, mama-bear-hormone in love. My belly protrudes into the world as a tease to me, a taunt representing the directions out and away.
Soon, Mama, I will have the ability to move out there. I will move away from you. I will leap unprotected and you will be lucky to capture the trail of my laughter as I go.