I just put Luciana to bed. Her new favorite thing is to cruise over to the baby monitor which up until now has perched on the edge of her crib. I see her on the monitor see it, head for it, and I’m whispering to her in the hopes of telepathically communicating to her, “Don’t do it! Don’t do it!” meanwhile cracking up as her eyes glow like baby owl eyes and she gets closer and closer and bigger and bigger and then….crash. It usually lands on the floor; two days ago I had to go in and take it out of her hands where she was happily examining it in the crib.
So tonight I got one step ahead of her and I put the monitor on the floor before I put her in bed, and snuck in after she was asleep to place it where I can see her and occasionally make sure she’s still breathing, because, yes, 8 1/2 months in I still do that. Let me pause here and say she is sleeping!!!!! I put her to bed somewhere between 6:30 and 7 and she pretty much goes til 4:30 or 5 in the morning when I nurse her, then she sleeps again til 6:15 or 6:30. Whaaaaaaaaa????? And though it’s a slower road, the naps are progressing too. !!!!!!!! Anyway, I snuck in to replace the monitor and she was actually still awake. Barely. Just lying on her side looking or not really looking at whatever her eyes were focused on, and she actually didn’t see me. On seeing that she was awake, I got out of her sightline because I didn’t want to confuse her, but I don’t know if I’ll ever forget that look: total sweetness and stillness just before her little eyes closed and she drifted to her special dreamland. I fall more for that girl every day.
Which has brought up some confusion about career, ambition, and who I think I am. Let’s just say that there are certain parts of my work that haven’t happened the way I’ve always wanted them to happen, and that part of me wants to turn my back on those parts forever and not look back. I love being a mom. I love doing the work that I do get to do. Maybe that’s perfect and these other ambitions are old ideas I can let go of. But maybe not. Maybe I’ve got plenty on my plate and many extra servings of joy and I don’t have the time to think about the career dreams the way I did but maybe I do still want them. And if I do still want them, I should probably go after them. But if I don’t want to go after them because I love being with my girl then where does that leave me? And so the wheel turns.
Here’s what I know: it’s entirely possible I’m hiding out a bit. It’s entirely possible that things have changed and I’m letting certain things go. It’s entirely possible to have it all if I want it.
I know I’m not the first to feel this, and every mama has a different story about what happened to her identity after her heart, as that gorgeous quote says, was suddenly living outside her body. I don’t know what mine will be—joyfully accepting the letting go or joyfully going for those visions I’ve had forever more than I’ve ever gone for them or both. Or later. But I know I want to feel spectacular about it—for my own fulfillment and so that I can model that for my daughter. I guess my job for today is to sit in the unknowing and make sure I’m not thinking about it too much when I’m playing with this one. More will be revealed, as they say.