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Posts Tagged ‘mother’

I spend a lot of time thinking about parenting, thinking about the best possible way to be the best possible mother I can be. I’ve chosen a much more natural version of parenting than is commonly seen in America, but I feel confident in it all the same. Parenting is something that should be done from the heart, and the decisions you make for your child should be the kind of decisions you can stand behind.

I am a strong believer in parenting from the heart. As a human female I already posses all the tools I need to take care of my new baby strictly based on instincts alone, but we live in a modern society where we’ve out thought our basic human instincts, and for the sake of living in a modern world some adjustments must be made, but those adjustments don’t have to compromise my values, and whether it’s to my benefit or detriment  as a mother the abundance of commerce in today’s world has made so many choices available when it comes to the quality of products I can choose to put on and near my child.

We’ve chosen to cloth diapers our baby for comfort and to minimize our contribution to the already overflowing landfills on this planet, but my main motivation for them is because it’s what I’d rather wear, and if put into my little Sweet Pea’s shoes (well… booties?) it’s no questions that I’d rather have some nice soft fabric against my new to the world heiny than some chemically conspicuous plastic disposable against my fresh young skin, and that’s just what seems most “natural” to us, so it’s what we do.

Together my Husband and I have made the choice to raise our daughter as naturally as possible, and by naturally I don’t mean keeping EVERYTHING 100% organic and chemical free (Though a lot of things we use are) I mean naturally in terms of our Nature.  Following our instincts as human beings, and doing what comes most simply to us as her parents.

I apply the same general theory to all of my parenting concepts; I simply ask myself “If I were a brand new baby-person in this world, what would make me the most comfortable and secure?” and then I do it. Now it may not always work, or it may not be the correct answer for the situation, but in order to find good solutions and create good practices as a parent you have to start somewhere, and where better to start than to look inside yourself and do for your baby what you would want done for you.

I will make so many mistakes because parents… no… people make mistakes, lots and lots of mistakes, but mistakes made out of love and an attempt to do the best things possible are the kind of mistakes you should (and can) be proud of. So as I embark on my journey into the unknown world of parenting I am grateful to know that I do not stand alone, but that the knowledge of those who came before me rests somewhere in my DNA, and the knowledge of those who come with me rests right here… on the internet.

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I have had the same reoccurring dream through out my pregnancy. The context of the dream is always different and the images change and develop but the idea remains the same. A bright light shines on my swollen belly causing my skin to become transparent enough to glimpse the baby. Her skin is covered in veins and she’s always right on schedule with how many weeks along I am.

The first time I had the dream she was small and fragile swimming about in a sea of amniotic fluid, her tiny arms and legs so thin and brittle, her little body as transparent as the skin of my womb. She gets bigger and stronger every time I see her, and last night when I drifted off to sleep I was blessed with a view of my daughter, my perfect child; so big and strong her skin almost completely opaque, her fully formed appendages moving about, her perfect little nose on her beautiful little face, and the best part was her round head covered in thick dark hair. It was simply amazing to see, and when I woke from the dream I felt as though I knew her a little better than I’d known her before.

And next month when her birthday is revealed and I hold her in my arms for the very first time, I won’t be at all surprised to see the same little girl I’ve seen so many nights finally in my arms looking back at me.

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So many things to do, so many little clothes to wash, tiny socks to find, cloth diapers to fold, toys to clean and put away. The crib is set, the beds been made all waiting for her special day. I’ve read all the books, and picked through the best advice. We’ve made the choices as well as we can, but what do we really know?

Now I write this as a person who has never had a child before. Never been a mother past knowing and loving the person still being created inside of me, but I do have a theory, an idea of the best way to prepare for having a baby.

Stretch… Stretch a lot… Stretch your body, and most certainly stretch your mind because nothing is going to be as helpful as flexibility, as being able to let go of those preconceived notions of how everything is going to be, and how your life is going to look as a new parent. When I think about having my child I imagine her curled up next to me and her father in bed fast asleep. I imagine waking up to her softly rooting about as she expresses her desire to be fed, of pulling her close to me and dozing as she satisfies her hunger and then the both of us drifting back to sleep. This is my dream, my perfect utopia of motherhood at night. I would love for this to be my reality and in that desire I do hold on to the possibility that that is how it may be, but I’m also prepared to throw that picture out the window for the reality that will most likely ensue.

When I ponder those first months of being the mother of a Little Girl Person on the outside, I always try to add a little bit of reality to my fantasies, to remind myself that some things (okay most things) will not go as I envision, and to remember that the very best thing I can do for my sanity and the sanity of those around me is to be willing to change, accept, and appreciate my practices as a new mother.

I do hold on to one piece of sentiment that under no circumstance shall I let go, and that is the notion that in all of my daydreaming and fantasizing about the future I have only skimmed the surface of how amazing and wonderful motherhood will be, of what sort of experiences it will bring and how it will round and shape me as a person, and the bonds of our family.

I love my husband and I love myself, and I can’t even begin to grasp the love that I will have when I look into the eyes of a person made entirely out of us.

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There is a small person living inside of me, changing and growing every day. I’ve never seen more than a fuzzy colorless image of her on an ultrasound screen, her little nose and her little hands; her little heart beating so fast. Such a tiny glimpse into who will soon most certainly become the center of my world.

Yet some how I know her, as if I’ve known her my whole life and just been waiting for our time. My little Sweet Pea, My Daughter, this little girl person made entirely out of Love. I knew she was a girl before she was conceived. My first born was always going to be a girl, and the ultrasounds technicians confirmation was just the recognition of a premonition I’d had years ago.

I wish there was a way to explain her personality, the way she thinks and reacts. How with only a nudge I know what she feels, what she needs. She’s already capable of so much, of so many emotions and it makes me wonder if we will still be so closely linked when she is no longer kept alive by the beating of my heart. Will I still know her then? Will I still understand her wants and desires? I like to think the connection will only deepen, and that being able to share her completely with her father will tighten the already unbreakable bonds of our family.

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There is an old rotting tree hidden in the forest of the property I grew up on, this is the story of the children that were lost there, and the photos of what they saw.

They say children used to live near here. Two to be exact, but that was a long time ago. Winters have gone and springs have come, the land has passed through generation, and almost all has been forgotten, but I remember… I remember the stories and sometimes late at night I can still hear the ghostly cries of their mother as the days came, the nights passed and she slowly realized they would not be coming home.

It began a normal day, just as everyday begins. Daylight spilled over the mountain tops as the sun slowly worked it way into the sky, dawn casting its warm glow across the world glistening like honey as the new morning light woke the creatures within. The house was alive with laughter as the children stumbled out of bed, racing for the breakfast table their mother piling heaping portions of eggs, ham, bacon and stir fried potatoes onto their plates. They squealed with delight as the salty savory aroma of cooked meats and spices reached their nostrils, and began stuffing their little faces before their bottoms even hit the chairs. If only it could have stayed this way. If only they could have woken up every morning to an inviting smile and the comforting love of their family’s home, but that is the fate of a different story, a happy story… which this is not.

With full bellies and clothes for playing their mother pushed them out the door sternly warning them to stay out of the forest before heading back inside. They raced down the old dirt road that lead towards the meadow, laughing, shouting and stumbling the whole way. Rocks flew and a cloud of dirt rose from the path as the boy came to an abrupt stop, shushing his little sister’s joyous sounds as she caught up with him. He craned his head towards the forest and listened…

“Music!” the little girl squealed her voice full of delight. Her brother reached out to stop her but was too late; she was already headed for the trees. He ran after her calling out for her to stop and wait, but she only looked back for a second a naive smile spread across her face. When she reached the edge of the forest she barely slowed as she began pushing and crashing her way through the underbrush. He paused at the edge of the grass heeding his mothers warning, but knowing he could not leave his younger sister alone. He crashed into the forest after her calling out for her to stop and turn around but she did not listen, she only pushed through the trees and farther into the shadows.

The forest began to close in around them, the trees to thick for the honey glow of the morning light to shine through. The little girl stopped as the music came to an end. The only sounds she could hear was the crunching of leaves under her brother’s boots, and the panicked beat rising from her chest as the cold darkness wrapped around them. She began to shiver as they look for some way out, but the darkness grew thicker until nothing could be seen. Her brother grabbed her hand as they frantically strain their eyes against the growing blackness, helplessly searching for some source of light to lead them home

And then she saw it… the warm glow of a camp fire not more than a few moments away. She lets go of her brother’s hand and points him towards it, a wave of relief splashing through her voice as she laughs at their good fortune. A path through the forest seemed to open before her as she easily made her way to the old hollowed out tree where the fire had been laid.

The makeshift home had jars and candles perched on every surface while a pot bubbled over the coals. The smell of the cooking and the warmth of the flames drawing her to her knees as she warmed her chilly hands. The sharp snap of a twig pulled her mind away from the comfort of the fire and she looked around, her breath catching in her throat as she saw she was alone. Her head jerked from left to right as she searched the woods for her brother but saw nothing. Another twig snapped as a woman stepped out from behind the tree. She smiled down on the little girl her green eyes sparkling as the reflection of the flames danced across her gaze, and as she opened her slender lips to speak the girl recognized the light enchanting melody that had brought her all this way.

The young girl was entranced by the calm even melody and fell deep into the persuasive stare of the forest woman’s emerald eyes. The melody shifted, and the little girl felt the heaviness on her eyes as a lullaby began. So tired was her little body from ambling through the woods, so warm was her skin as she sat near the blaze. As exhaustion rushed over her she slumped on to the fire warmed earth and slept to the enchanting sounds of the forest woman songs.

When she awoke all was quiet, the sweet lullaby had ceased, and the fire was beginning to burn down. She reached a hand up to wipe the sleep from her eyes but it did not budge, looking down she saw the ropes binding her wrist together. Raising her head she looked around for her brother hoping to see him nearby, but all she saw was the bottom of the forest woman’s long dress. She looked up into the still smiling face of the young beautiful woman and felt comfort once again, but as she continued to stare into the woman’s eyes the spell was broken, and fear began to tingle in the base of her spine crawling up through her shoulders and filling her mind.

She looked down on the young helpless girl as she released her from her spell feeling the fear as the child watched her change. The forest woman’s eyes began to glow and, her teeth began to sharpen she could see the trust draining from the little girls face just as the beauty was drained from her own. The young girl’s petrified scream pierced the air, but there was no one left to hear her cries. The witches dry and flaking lips curved into a smile around her jagged broken teeth as a white bony hand reached from beneath the dark cloak. The screaming stopped and the little girl was left alone in the dark dampness of the forest a now hollow vessel filled with nothing but fear…

Her spirit still wanders these forests, forever searching for her brother, and on cold dark nights like this one you can still hear her soft cries calling for her brother as she trips and stumbles through the trees terrified by even the faintest of sounds…

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