This is so very me... The days before my birthday, I start to crawl into a cave (more than usual). I get very introspective (more so than usual) and sensitive (again, more... ah, you get it). Part of being a Scorpio? Perhaps. Probably just mostly part of being me.
I'm sitting at my favorite coffee shop, reveling in the fact that I have time alone to myself. I'm enjoying my coffee by savoring every single delightful sip and eating my gluten-free pastry tiny bite by tiny bite. I haven't had a stretch of a few hours off in a very long time so I am going to stretch this one out. Right now I am writing and editing audio; when I'm done here I will take the trolley over to The Knitting Garden and swatch my new project.
Time alone is so precious to me. I don't have to live in that place where moms live- in that fight or flight hyperaware part of our over-utilized brain. I can just... aaaaaaaahhhhhHHHHHHH. When I get time alone, I almost always end up crying. Wherever I am. Seriously, WHEREVER. I sob and when I realize I'm out in public making people uncomfortable, I pack up and just go for a walk. I cry because I feel an overwhelming sense of "Ohhhhhh, THERE I AM" and I can't contain the excitement and sadness that feeling holds. So, when I look down and see my newly protruding belly bump holding baby number four, I can't help feel a bit of panic. I have basically spent my thirties mostly being pregnant, having children, nursing children, raising children, managing other's feelings/outbursts, soothing toddlers, bathing others, dressing others, brushing teeth (sometimes even my own!), and loving others. It's not to say I haven't felt loved. I'm also fairly coddled (my equally exhausted partner does what he can to remind me I matter, while I cry from invisibility some days).
Last night during my usual middle of the night pregnancy wake-up, I had the oddest vision. I saw myself up at bat in Wrigley Field, bat firmly gripped in my hands, focusing on the pitcher, trying to predict what pitch was coming my way. It was odd because in my real life, sports is really not a thing at all. I don't follow or watch it and I don't know or care what's going on in that world. All I knew from FB posts was that the Cubs won the World Series trying to break some long curse and something about a goat.
I knew a 100+ mph curve ball was coming for me. And as the vision unfolded, I couldn't help but keep thinking how peculiar this sports metaphor was for me. I knew it had to do with my 4th baby on his/her way and when I realized that, I let myself sit with the fear and enormity of it. Another few years inside the LABORinth. Funny thing is, I don't recall ever getting out. It has felt more like approaching the exit only to send myself right back to the beginning. Maybe some people think "well, who told her to keep having kids?" No one. No one did. And I'm not complaining about those beautiful little ones. But I certainly need to express the feelings I am having around starting over and delaying the "getting back to myself" for another few years.
Many people- mostly other moms- often ask me, "How do you do everything you do?" I assume that they are referring to my podcast, my blog, involvement in my daughter's Waldorf school, my serious knitting habit, mothering 3 children, having a successful partnership, a masters degree (which I have since put on hold due to this pregnancy),carve time out for myself whenever I can, and just general life. The truth is, without all these things I can sort of call my own I would go insane. If I didn't have anything other than my children, I think I would have evaporated into oblivion a long time ago. Since I had my first baby in my early thirties I have been on a fierce mission to keep some parts of myself alive so that when I have time to come back to myself, I haven't forgotten what my purpose on Earth is and who I am. I still know what makes me tick. I still know what seeds I want to leave planted deep in the Earth before I go.
With good fortune, I may even see them sprout and bloom <3