Notes from the 4 week mark

Tomorrow Elias is 4 weeks. Without meaning to, I find myself pulled back to vivid memories of the crazy time, 3 years ago when Jonas was 4 weeks. Then I was in Hudson NY. My husband was on the job market–finishing his phd. I was torn apart by the emotions of becoming a mother. Facing a return to work where much drama awaited. The season was grey– it was still winter. I would tuck Jonas into my down coat and walk the (few) streets of Hudson, weaving my way from Warren Street to the various alleyways, avoiding the wind, the ice, to get down to the Hudson River where the ice made sounds on the river that soothed me and gave me a special sort of hope.

This time Spring has begun. The weather is kinder. I braved the snow and ice 9 months pregnant with a 3 year old in tow. When I head outside now, I tuck elias into my rain coat and move the speed of his brother– alternating between very fast and intolerably slow, we find treasures and fill my raincoat pockets with old tram stubs, rusty screws, and Hyacinthe petals. This time, mother again, I will note: it is not easier. No. Not that exactly. It is just more familiar. I have lived now 3 years with the open nerves of parenthood– watched the way bearing witness to my son’s growing and learning can demand a new wisdom & a new understanding of love and hurt and joy that  I never could imagine possessing without him — without them– in my life.

And here I am again.  Here we are: a family of four. In Philadelphia. I am my own boss now. Codirecting a community school I started with a partner. Doing consulting work. Taking, for now, a few weeks to settle into being mother again. Times two. Divided between boys. Twice as much of everything now but time. And yet it is fine. This feels suited to me. And I know, too, that as this infant grows over the next year–and the smell of soured milk I note now on myself daily, the circles under my eyes from 3 hour wakings in the middle of the night when I hear mice climb down through the 100 year old walls to the basement– that new opportunities will present themselves. New questions. New impulses will pull me onward into this life, two boys in tow. Or perhaps it is the other way around: two boys will pull me onward to the next questions, those that are uniquely mine to sit with, to consider, and to answer.

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