Of course, we weren't even inclined to start the process until we got confirmation that the work we've been waiting on was completed. After all, we've been led to believe that we'd be home soon a couple of times before, only to find that this would not be the case. Most likely, our first steps in the direction of home will be taken tomorrow, since Tom has only just gotten chance to check in at the house this evening, to get the refrigerator and air conditioning running in preparation for our arrival.
In the meantime, I'm savoring the moments that I have left here.
I took a long nap with Michael today, and spent much of the time in reflection as I cradled his tiny, peaceful form. I was filled with regret, as I often am in the moments that I can steal away with him alone, that there are not more opportunities to dedicate myself to him in this way. After all, he may be high-maintenance, but with effort, he can absolutely be soothed to contentment in most any instance. He just needs so much comforting, and while my heart is boundless, my body, time, and resources are not.
It was easy to forget this as I drank in his beautiful, perfect, features- the long, dark, satiny eyelashes, the gentle curve of his round baby cheeks, the pink rosebud lips, the down that coats his small, fragile, head. I could recall my intimate journey with him, long before I held him in my arms, as I visually traced the contours of his miniature nose. How he grew from nothing, slowly but surely pressing outward on the walls of my soft belly, until he possessed a size and strength that left me gasping as he danced and flipped inside of me.
And here he finally was, so warm and serene and fit perfectly alongside me, and I felt that I could lie there with him forever. It made so much sense, suddenly- the answer to my woes. All he needs is me. With him, beside him, around him. If I could do that and be that every moment, how happy we both would be.
But the waking cries of my daughter in the next room swept the fog from my reverie. Much as I would love to be the all-encompassing vessel for him that I once was, particularly when his urgent needs demand it, it cannot be so. He is a person separate from me now, and we must both continue to be pulled in our separate directions. He, on a gradual path towards independence, and I, back to my mad frenzy to serve the many loved ones who depend on me, and on whom I depend in return. And, of course, much as I may try to hold them off for the sake of my children, I have my own needs to tend to as well. Not just basic ones, but slightly selfish ones too, like the opportunity to find a moment of isolation and seek some self-fulfillment apart from them.
Like when I squirrel myself away for just long enough each day to put some thoughts down here.
And even in this, I feel that I am sacrificing, at times. I long to take the time to write something truly beautiful- to weave a tapestry with my words, to paint some grand landscape expressive of the depth of my thoughts. Rather, I feel always that I am frantically grasping at the first words that come to mind- the barest verbiage that might suffice to communicate the essentials of what I have in mind. Even here, where I have many more opportunities for a quiet moment, I feel crippled by the cloudiness of sleep-deprivation that seems to obscure every emerging thought, and hobbled by the anxiety that hovers over me whenever Michael sleeps, that any moment he might awaken.
I read the most beautiful of blogs today, an absolute gem called Girl's Gone Child. I was so taken by the author's beautiful language, and inspired to take more care with my own writing, in the hopes of creating something half as lovely. But here I sit, like a child who struggles to draw the world as she sees it before her, and falls far short of what she intended to capture there on the paper below.
The words do not come. But perhaps, someday.
And I know that you're probably thinking that the first step for me is to have confidence, and to simply take joy in what I am doing. Despite my terrible tendencies toward the self-critical, I truly am. I felt incredible pride when I realized today that yesterday's post marked the one-month anniversary of the start of this idea-turned-reality, and I'm still going strong.
And so is my burgeoning interest in photography. I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't made much progress towards my goal of learning all of the ins-and-outs of my camera, in order to take full advantage of its capability. However, I have been practicing as much as I can, making use of the little bit of intuition and knowledge that I do have, and I think that I've come pretty far already from where I began (if I can get past my recent tendency to over-expose- gotta love that speedlight; gotta learn to use it properly, too).
I took these with a desperate desire to capture some last, memorable, moments of the special time that we have spent here.
Here, in my childhood home, to which I will always feel intimately connected, and where I will always feel safe.
Here, where Michael has made such great strides towards sitting up on his own.
Here, where my sweet Abby has never been without good company.
Here, with family.
Abby's got her things all lined up by the door, ready to go ow-sigh. I'm not sure that I will ever really be ready, myself.