I have always been one to rise to a challenge. I work better under a hard stiff deadline. I actually work better when my back is to the wall. I come out fighting.
My thesis defense got moved up two weeks. I had planned on turning in my thesis before Christmas break, but I have to turn it in to committee members this Friday. So it has to be edited and ready to go by Thursday for my thesis advisor to have one final look to see if it is ready for thesis defense.
My thesis is about my experience as a new mom. It is a collection of essays and journal entries. There is one Facebook status update too. The thesis was originally titled “Motherhood — The New Frontier,” but I think I am going to change the title to the first line of the first essay. My advisor said I have more than enough material to write a book about the first two years of motherhood. I am only including fifty pages in my thesis. And I certainly have over 200 pages of raw writing.
I have learned that the writing process is pretty grueling, at least the editing part. It is necessary to make a manuscript readable and enjoyable for the reader. I have grown a lot as a mother and as a writer over the past three years. Benjamin has been with me since the first day I started my graduate program. I found out I was pregnant the first day of graduate school.
So, because time is an issue and I still need to soak my old bones in an epsom salt bath, I am going to post some photos. Our family is co-sleeping. Ben is too big and takes up too much room now in our queen mattress on the floor. We are trying to transition him to his new toddler fire engine bed. But we will tackle one thing at a time. Right now, I am focused and ready to tackle my thesis challenge.
“Rise up!” That is what my husband says when the Patriots are playing defense. “Rise up!” I will rise to this challenge.
I also hear, “Dig deep.” That is what my Providence College soccer teammates would say during games. So, I’m digging too.
One of the things I have written about in my thesis is morning tub time. It was initially started as decoy of boredom from morning play mat time when Ben was just eight months old. The sunlight streams in our small bathroom window (about the size of six cereal boxes stacked two wide, three high). The silhouette of the Bradford Pear tree in front of the window creates the most beautiful fluttering leaves on the bathroom wall. It is really beautiful. So here is a photo of that.
Another thing I am really grateful for on my journey through the new frontier is a group of women who are supportive of my parenting choices (extended breastfeeding and co-sleeping and Attachment Parenting principles). But most of all, they are just cool women with kids and babies of their own who I can get together with when the loneliness of motherhood strikes and when I need some adult interaction. It is my humble opinion that playdates are for mothers. It is nice for the kids, but for me, playdates have been a saving grace. I have made a new friend within this group that I really adore. She is funny, intelligent, an art enthusiast, creative, wonderful with kids, and I think she really likes me. She’s an old soul.
The slide show below is from our day at the park flying a kite. She gracefully and casually took out a colorful kite out of her grey wool coat. It was a late November day and air was crisp and chilly. Ben loved that kite. I peed my pants running the kite. But it was worth it because I haven’t flown a kite since childhood. (Just a funny sidenote as I have no shame — I thought I needed to change Ben’s diaper when we got back in the car — it smelled pretty strong. When we got home, I asked my husband to change his diaper. Well, what do you think hubby said? He said, “Nope, his diaper’s dry as a bone.”) Looks like I need some adult diapers if I am going to be running any kites or marathons!
My friend and I laughed about this lovely side effect of motherhood on our kite adventure. She said, “Yeah, there’s a reason they tell you to do those damn keigels and it ain’t related to sex!” We laughed deep from our bellies and more keigels were needed. I love her honesty and humor. I never have to censor with her, not that I am any good at that anyway.
Flying kites should be mandatory inner child induction. We also walked near a cotton field and let our boys explore the picked over field. Cotton is a beautiful crop. The soil tells so many stories.
I remember a journal entry I wrote for my thesis about wanting to find a mom friend. I was so lonely as I transitioned from working mom to stay at home mom(Ben was four months old when I returned to work from one month maternity leave and three months of summer vacation. I was a teacher. I quit my job four months later in December of 2011).
Journal Entry March 9, 2011
I saw a mom pair today and instantly got jealous. I wanted a mom friend. A mom friend is a friend whose a mom with a kid the same age as your own. They were pretty young girls, younger than me, probably in their middle twenties.
I’d take anyone for a mom friend.
I will end this post with a slide show of Benjamin and some of our recent adventures. He is certainly my muse.