Saturday, June 06, 2009

Clearest, starkest brilliance

"Motherhood is a storm, a seizure: It is like weather. Nights of high wind followed by calm mornings of dense fog or brilliant sunshine that gives way to tropical rain, or blinding snow. Jane Louise and Edie found themselves swept away, cast ashore, washed overboard. It was hard to keep anything straight. The days seemed to congeal like rubber cement, although moments stood out in clearest, starkest brilliance. You might string those together on the charm bracelet of your memory if you could keep your eyes open long enough to remember anything." --Laurie Colwin, from A Big Storm Knocked It Over

That I've read an entire book over the past twelve days means that all is not lost. And indeed, there have been numerous "moments standing out in clearest, starkest brilliance," though these don't include the hours we spent in the Sick Kids Emergency when Harriet when just four days old (she was fine, thank goodness, but that experience was like staring straight into hell), her much too-much weight loss that has had both of us struggling to make up for it ever since, that I may have cried as much as she has, and the overwhelming dread at the thought of her Daddy returning to work on Monday. But we've enjoyed taking her out for her first walks in her carrier, trying to figure out what she likes (not much, but we suspect being in her carrier is a comfort), getting massages from Daddy, midwife visits where she's gained an ounce every day, the sun shining through the windows, all the support we've had from family, friends and our most excellent neighbours, and that she's received so good wishes from all over the world. Harriet has also received post every day, though she's not yet old enough to realize how exciting that is. We've also been fortunate that I've come through my surgery so well and easily. My crush on the surgeon went into high gear in the days after her birth (which, in spite of the operating room, was as gorgeous as any birth could be, and I don't feel I've missed anything) because he looked like Paul Simon circa 1970s, and because of what a good job he'd done, and what a beautiful baby he'd delivered (though about three nights ago at three o'clock in the morn, I was sorely tempted to go firebomb his house). It's been a very difficult time for all of us this past while-- I've never been much inclined to work hard at things I'm not loving, and this isn't a job I can pass along to anybody else. Though I'm finding, ever-increasingly, those moments standing out in clearest, starkest brilliance when I don't want to.