Ramblings of a Novice ParentBy Talismanicidols on July 25, 2016
That balancing point… behind the navel, maybe in the heart, probably everywhere.
As a parent of a one year old girl, it’s hard to know exactly when the time is Now to pick her up and hug her after letting her cry in the hopes she’ll sleep on her own.
In the stroller we walk through beautiful Holland. The sun is low and lighting things in a way that only this time of day can show… and all the while she cries and cries. I know it’s not traumatic because the type of cry is not scared, not confused, but frustrated. Ready for what was familiar.
“Yesterday you picked me up and I fell asleep in your arms.” she tells me with her eyes filled with two soggy tears. I feel it and it breaks my heart but that might be my softness. My inability to hold the space for a crying baby. So I sing.
I sing and sing and keep singing. My throat starts to ache and moan for me to stop but I want her to feel that I’m here and it’s safe. For I probably wouldn’t be singing if we were in danger or if everything wasn’t next to ideal… Ideal for sleeeeeeeeep.
But no sleep. She keeps looking at me with those eyes. So I try not to project my fears onto her crying. She’s not really telling me I’m a horrible father right now. She’s not actually accusing me of harming her by keeping her there. She’s probably not even thinking… just singing her frustration so I sing back to her the most soulful rendition of Amazing Grace.
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I’m found.
Once lost but now I see.”
Enter my beautiful fiancé who is on this walk with me. Absorbing all the same crying and turning into a beautiful melody to sing back to our baby. (The one that’s crying, just in case you forgot)(because we didn’t).
I see the stress it puts on a mother to hear her baby girl cry. The thoughts of failing in all the ideas we had about being great parents. How one moment can feel completely serene, like the world makes sense and it’s easy. And how the next moment that child can cause the tower of confidence to crumble. It’s beautiful really.
So I seek the balancing point in all of it. I sing from the heart. I walk from the navel. I melt into the moment around me instead of fighting it. And finally, FINALLY…. we got home and she was still awake.
So we took her out of the stroller. She received many kisses and passed out on Mama’s breast.
And the moral of the story? Easy is not what to strive for. Like striving for winter not to come this year, easy comes and goes. That’s what makes this song, this life, these troubles and all their myriad solutions that humble you to your core.
The Hallelujah from the lips of the beaten and bruised and graceful enough to stand back up even when they can’t.
Praise to all you parents. Praise to the grandmothers and grandfathers who’ve seen it all before.
I’m so blessed to have a little girl that shared my family and the other half of my soul’s family.
I’m so excited to have the chance to see what I must do to become better. Not just for me, but for her and for all those that will soon come into this world wondering in horrific ecstasy the words of Nahko Bear:
“How did I end up here?” Bum bum badah bum bum. Badum bum bum badah bum bum.
I love you life. Thanks for the body. I’ll give it back in good condition with a hell of a story.