5-Minute Friday

I recently stumbled upon a website called “Lisa-Jo Baker: tales from a Gypsy Mama” http://lisajobaker.com/. I honestly don’t remember how I found it or what I had been searching for–I’ve been doing a lot of web searches lately at three or four in the morning when I’m up feeding L but not quite awake. The searches range from “cloth diaper systems” (we’re starting as soon as I get our system set up!) to “3 month old sleepier than usual” (she was taking lots of naps). So, I’m not sure what led me to Lisa-Jo Baker’s website, but I found myself reading and I subscribed to her email. That’s how I found out about her 5-Minute Friday writing challenge where she posts a word or topic and invites others to just write for five minutes. The idea is that on days when you don’t want to write, just push yourself, just write for five minutes. I could use that today (after the excitement of putting my first post out there, I was a little nervous to try again, hesitant to pick a topic). So, thank you, Lisa-Jo. Here goes….

Race…

Before Louisa was born, I was always in a hurry. In a hurry to get to work because I pressed snoozed one too many times. In a hurry to get from my classroom to a meeting to another classroom. In a hurry to make one more chart, send one more email, make one more copy. And it wasn’t her birth that slowed me down, but the car accident I was in 7 days before she was born.

In my pre-motherhood life, I never could say “no”–not when it came to work. I didn’t want to say “no”. The busier I was, the better. I loved (and still do love) sharing my ideas, being involved, and helping my colleagues. Teaching excites me. I could talk about curriculum or students or a single lesson for hours. So, even when at 37 weeks, my doctors admitted me into the hospital to monitor the baby and my fluid levels, I still wanted to work. I stopped teaching, but wanted to finish the work that I could. It literally felt like a race to the finish. Could I get it all done before the baby arrived?

That’s why I was at work that Tuesday. I was meeting with my two of my colleagues to look ahead at coming year’s calendar and units of study. It was a meeting I had scheduled so that I could support them in their planning before my impending leave…We met all day, but then I left right at 3, which wasn’t typical, but I had errands to run. Yep, I just had to order the new bureau for our bedroom and then from there, I’d be running to get my nails done. All part of getting ready, right?

Well, it was rush hour as I headed back through the city from the furniture store. I looked down, or over, for a moment and realized, “Oh, I have to slow down–there’s a car in front of me.” But, instead of hitting the brake, I hit the gas and crashed right into that car.

I won’t and can’t describe how terrifying that car accident was. My car ended up being completely totalled, but everyone involved, thankfully, walked away with very minor injuries, if any. I spent the night in the hospital because I did have a few contractions. But the baby was okay–actually, the baby and the fluid levels, ironically, looked the best they had since my 37 week appointment.

That next morning, I finally realized I couldn’t race anymore. I had to let go, at least for a little while. Since then, life has redefined “busy” for me…it’s not running from here to there. “Busy” this week was getting outside three times in one day with my daughter 🙂 I’m sure “busy” will take on yet another meaning when I’m back at work, but I think (I hope) I won’t be in such a race.

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Not quite ready…

Every so often, I find myself opening the calendar on my phone and counting the weeks left until I return to work. The count (now a little less than 4) is still reassuring–there is so much Louisa and I can do between now and then. I feel like I’m trying to squeeze as much as I can in to these precious weeks with my girl: meet other new mamas, get outside for walks, go apple and pumpkin picking, cuddle on the couch on gray, dreary mornings like today…

However, sometimes, the anxiety rises when I realize we’ve just had a regular, ho-hum sort of day. I don’t want to waste one moment, but I have–we watched tv or I’ve spent an entire day doing laundry and errands. I remind myself that those things are also part of our life together…that we’ll have lazy days and busy days, and I need to enjoy them all. I remind myself of my friends and colleagues who work full-time and have amazing relationships with their children. I remind myself that I’ll be with her every morning and evening and all weekend long. The worries surface again, though, when I think of the days when she’ll be with my husband and I’ll be at work. Will her face still light up when she sees me each morning? Will I still be able to nurse her? Will we still have time together as her bedtime gets earlier and I have late nights at work?

But, today, as I sit here typing this and watching her sleep with her long fingers wrapped around her blanket, I know I need to shake off those worries and just enjoy each moment. Even the laundry (filled with her little clothes and diapers and blankets) is just another part of this new wonderful life I have as her mama…