I’m down, physically and emotionally. My back’s out and I’ve been lying around for two days. Shane’s been wonderful, caring for the baby and me. Today he had to go to work, though, so his parents have her. They brought her to me a little while ago to nurse but she wasn’t very interested. I miss her and feel weird about not being able to lift and carry her around, even though I know it’s no indication of my mothering ability or anything. It’s been a vulnerable week emotionally anyway, since Molly started to show a very insistent preference for Shane over me except for feedings and sleeping. It’s so childish and ridiculous to be jealous, but of course I am. I’m sure all first time parents go through that- Shane used to annoy me being jealous of the nursing bond, but now that she’s really smitten with her Daddy I understand how he felt. I’m so used to being her whole world. Well, at least when Papaw wasn’t around. She’s always loved him so much. He’s fallen in her esteem too, and actually she prefers her Mamaw to everyone- Shane included. We went to pick her up from their house after work the other day and she cried when either one of us held her.
The loss of the mommy-obsession re-opened my working mom sadness. I had it in my head that I don’t get to spend much time with her. That’s an exaggeration I’m sure. I have her in my arms or at my side all evening and all night long, and then nearly constantly on weekends. It’s just annoying and melancholy to “lose” her a little.
Mom & Dad E left me “Lady in the Water” to watch on DVD when they took Molly. It’s so beautiful. I’m a total sucker for a fairy tale, and I love M. Night Shyamalan. How cool is it to be named Night? Or better yet, Story, the heroine of the movie. What a beautiful name.
I dreamt Molly had a tiny twin sister they had found in my womb at my six week checkup. She fit in the palm of my hand. She was sickly and I grew a tiny nipple to nurse her with, but she wouldn’t grow. I told Shane we needed to name her and he told me we shouldn’t get attached because she probably would die. I wanted to name her Suzy anyway. There was a beautiful huge angel fish in the dream too that flopped on top of an aquarium and had to be put back in the water. That’s no doubt from staring at a toy aquarium nightlight with Molly as I nursed her to sleep. We also had an ocean CD playing so the nursery was wonderfully tranquil.
Shane’sa right- I do research too much. Right now I’m filled with crankiness at Saint Nicholas. I was researching to origins of a certain innocuous Christmas symbol, trying to form a good plan for explaining him to a young and curious Mollybird in years to come. I was hoping for some ways to align him with Solstice as well as Christmas, figuring he has nada to do with a Virgin Mama and a manger full of baby Holy Cuteness so it might be easy. I’ll probably have more luck with Yule symbols and such. At any rate, I got stuck on this very informative site about the saint.
Turns out, when he was the Bishop of Myra, Nicholas attacked a temple of Artemis and crushed it to bits. Since She is second only to The Ever-Compelling and Mysterious, Dark, Yummy One Persephone in my esteem, I am sad and pouty right now. Not surprised, as many saints are lauded for such, but I’m bummed.
I’m having a religious reality check lately. Last night Mamaw & Papaw proudly showed me Molly’s newest books- pop-ups about Joseph’s coat, Noah’s ark, and one called Jesus and the 12 Dudes Who Did. I’m very fine with them exposing Molly to their beliefs, but I’m realizing that if I don’t get more involved in my church and circle, she’s going to get the majority of her religious teachings from them. That’s just not going to happen. It’s an uncomfortable situation family-wise with Shane disdaining all organized religion, even when it’s as poorly organized as my pagan friends can be…haha. So I feel a little like I’m alone in her religious/spiritual upbringing and it seems like I want to indoctrinate her. It’s not that I’ll be angry or upset if she would choose to enter the LDS or any other church, I just want her to have a broad education. If I were a Christian, I wouldn’t feel like I was pushy if I insisted she go to my church, so why do I feel it’s strange to want her to attend circle and learn about Wicca? I’m afraid UU can be a little more intellectual a path than spiritual, and I know adults who left their childhood UU faith because of this. I want her so much to follow the UU Principles and to learn the beautiful lessons of service and compassion that the congregation teaches, but I specifically want her to know about Earth traditions.
Is it confusing to a kid that we can be UU and Wiccan? Do I even classify myself as Wiccan really anymore? I don’t know. I’m thinking this over too much. I’m sure I’ll inuitively learn as we go what to share with her. It’s just weird… religion hasn’t been a terribly important part of my life (though spirituality of course is ever-present) for a while. I’m sure many new parents find themselves reassessing their devotion. The cool thing is, many of the families at the UU congregation are dealing with similar quandaries. I need to take my lazy ass to church more often. We even have a RE (religious education) class called Parents as Resident Theologians. So, I’m sure they’re addressing many of my worries. Just need to get more involved.
End rant. Have a very Happy Solstice (technically this evening, but I don’t know if this means today or tomorrow is the shortest day, but I’m thinking tonight’s the longest night, so we’ll light our special virgin holly-shaped gold candles and say prayers this evening.) Tomorrow we’re baking baker’s clay ornaments of suns & stars for keepsakes. Molly won’t remember her first Yule but I will, and it’s a good start to new traditions- I wasn’t raised UU or pagan, probably obviously.
Holiday fun from Crunchy on the Inside:
Real or fake (sorry, artificial)? Fake. Real ones are beautiful, though. I hear the replantable ones don’t usually live, so I’m staying with my fakey.
Religious or secular? Vaguely religious, mostly just about family and giving
Santa or not? Yes, Santa, who will have a slight Solstice-Fairy makeover in years to come
Christmas or Hanukkah (or Kwanzaa or Solstice or…..)? Winter Solstice and Christmas
Eggnog or Hot Chocolate? Custard, the drinkable kind, old family recipe
Turkey or Ham (or Tofurkey)? Cookies, please, just lots of cookies.
Cash or Credit? Only cash allowed for Christmas- no debt.
Travel or stay home? Home
Mall or online? Thrift, closeout stores, or handmade
Extended family or nuclear? extended
Star or angel? sunburst usually, for solstice, or a snowflake this year
Plastic/battery operated or wooden hand painted? Prefer the latter
White lights or coloured? White
Traditional music or contemporary? A mix I guess
‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ or ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ A Christmas Story- Shane’s obsessed. I keep wanting to get him a famous leg lamp but then there would be a leg lamp in the house. Erg.
Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning? Christmas Eve. We always did the family visit on the Eve, although in the coming years I’m sure seeing Molly’s face Christmas morning will trump all else.
Original Grinch or Jim Carrey? Original!
Red or Green? Green
Candy Cane or Gingerbread? Gingerbread
Re-gift or Goodwill (or Ebay)? Local thrift store or Goodwill
White Christmas or Green? White, although if someday that referred to a sandy Carribean beach rather than snow that would be fine:)
‘Jingle Bells’ or “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer” Rudolph, with the silly extra lyrics
Ready or not? Not
Squee! Rick Lee, a well-known local commercial photographer with the coolest blog, posted a snap of the Mollybird. I’m ecstatic because I am a dorky mom.
I have no hope of ever being cool, Shane says, because I am a gothy hippy chick (according to my husband, a nosering and excessive number of black tees qualifies me as goth) who uses lame wannabe gangsta slang interspersed with my “groovy”‘s. Also, because the average age of new moms in my area is 5-10 years younger than me, I am going to be the weird gray streaked bag-lady-looking mom at the PTA crying because the cafeteria doesn’t serve organic tofu in a region where we pretty much deep fry everything.
I am over being cool most days, and revel in my mellow at-home-in-my-own-skin-ness. Some days, though, I wake up and really want a tattoo sleeve and purple hair. Right now I’d settle for any neat haircut. I’m a mop right now. I’ve left a plea for help with my favorite hair goddess, but she’s busy and I may have to suffer through the holidays.
Colleen was a regular at my old job where I sold coffee and “gently used” clothing for transitional housing run by the YWCA. She moved here from California and didn’t know many people. She’d had a terrible break-up with a long-time partner, and I don’t think she knew a lot of people in the area. She’d tease me about being a breeder, but then she brought me a huge bagful of Disney movies for the baby this time last year, when the baby was only a raspberry wedged into my uterine wall. She teased me sweetly because I declined a joint at a party, promising me her generation had healthy babies and their moms smoked weed.
She had a witty, insanely dry and sarcastic demeanor and was scary smart. I think she was the most unhappy woman I’ve ever met. She talked about suicide openly with me, and I offered therapists’ numbers, cleansing spells, and my home number to call in the wee hours if need be. She took her life this November- I just found out this week. I’m so sad I wasn’t able to attend her memorial. So I’m just offerring this up to the universe: She was here, and I witnessed her being, and enjoyed her company, and her leaving hurts me.
Next time you go to your favorite locally-owned cafe, raise a hot Latte with the espresso run through twice like a Euro, with half a shot of vanilla syrup, and toast Colleen.
Molly’s obsessed with the dogs now. If one of them is in the room, there is to be no playing, no nursing, no eating while she stared with rapt interest at her beloved furry giant. When they are close, she is overwhelmed and can’t decide whether she is in bliss or is just a little scared. It’s the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen.
It makes me feel terrible, though, to realize how the poor dogs have plummeted in my attentions since Molly was born. They were our babies, now… not so much. They are great dogs, though.
Meet the Puppies:
Dharma: 10 years old, German Shepherd/Black Lab. Smart, sweet, with a soul deserving of her lovely Buddhist name. When she was a pup, they lived in a van and tent by the New River, and Shane was reading The Dharma Bums. She was Shane’s main woman until I came along. After initial hesitation, I was adopted as a mommy with great enthusiasm. During my pregnancy, she watched over me like an angel.
Bailey: 5 years old. We inherited her from Shane’s brother, who was our roommate until just before our wedding. The Boo (Bailey is the Boo of our home with the simplest spelling. Molly is the Boue, Shane’s Bu, and I’m Bew) is just as sweet and affectionate as she is stupid. That’s harsh, but she’s not the brightest. She is our teenage rebel, and has a shaggy little boyfriend who’s family has to walk her home a couple times a week.
Shane has the baby playing by our mirrored door, and he decides the edges are very sharp and he should play at another mirror. I come downstairs and see the adorableness of baby and Daddy frolicking with Reflected Baby and Reflected Daddy. Then I see a bright red mess on the mirror, and think, “Have I ever worked on any paintings down here? How is there red paint on this mirror? Oh, is that blood?” I say, “What’s that red stuff? Is she bleeding?” We examine the Boue and yes, it is her blood. It’s a little bitty cut on her finger. She is blissfully oblivious, twisting to see Reflected Molly some more. We whisk her away to the kitchen and Shane holds out the tiny hand while I wash it with warm water, then I am sent to get the gigantic first aid kit. It is huge and waterproof, for my husband is the God of Whitewater Safety. Although would a good Rafting God let his gauze pads get all dry-rotted? No, He would not. So then we find Band-Aids and cut one into wee pieces and after a while the bleeding stops and all is well again.
The funny thing is, I so did not freak out, even a little. Shane’s tone during the washing and bandage hunting was this uber-calm “Don’t freak out, Mama” voice, but it was not necessary. I totally rock with the not swooning at the site of my baby’s blood. Probably it’s because she was in no actual pain, because remember the first tumble how I boohoo’ed? Hah! I was still a newbie then, not an experienced and worldly mom-for-six-and-a-half-months like I am now:)