Fumbling / by Christina Rosalie

I’ve been fumbling my way along the frayed thread of balance lately. Trying to keep keel down in the turbulence of being a full time mama and a full time teacher and sometimes a writer too, although words are getting a fragment of my attention these days.

I’m not quite feeling better. Not worse, certainly, and much improved, but still not the hale and wholesome self I was before this small sprout took up residency in my uterus. It’s draining in this abstract way I can hardly pinpoint or explain. I’m making a baby. Even though I am not actually responsible for orchestrating any of it, thankfully.

Inside the growing curve of my belly I harbor a tiny vermillion fish of a being. One that flips and flutters and kicks at the least expensive time. Apparently, it’s the size of a tomato. Next week I find out what, so it can no longer be it.

And there is something about this process that is draining, or, well, more like an alien invasion. A part of me has been taken over, my energy diverted.

Bean senses this increasingly now, I think. In the past two weeks he’s suddenly gotten more needy, more vehement in his tantrums, more urgent in his desire to cover me with butterfly kisses and snuggle on the couch.

Or maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with the baby and everything to do with the fact that two days a week he’s a school kid now, and he’s never been one. Two days a week he’s one of many, not the only one; and while he’s there away from me and from DH he’s also discovering that if he can leave us, we can leave him.

It’s a fluttery, unsure time for the both of us. And as a result, there are days where every single thing is messy and tangled and unpleasant. Where tears spring when the wrong spoon is offered, when a sweatshirt is suggested, when snack has to be one of the two choices offered and not cookies or Bunny Grahams or any of the other delicacies he’s requesting.

But there are also days where he wraps me in gorilla hugs. Where he sees that I’m tired and that guests are coming and the house needs cleaning and he quietly goes to his toys and starts putting them away without being asked, and then follows me around closely doing whatever I ask him to do. Every single moment of parenting is like this, isn’t it? On the one hand utter sweetness; on the other anguish.