“Every person is born into life as a blank page – and every person leaves life as a full book.” Christina Baldwin
“When a person dies, a library is burned.” Edmund White
So, a whole bunch of neat things have been swirling around me lately, which gives context to both my recent absence here, as well as my reappearance today. I’m looking forward to sharing some of the developments that are sprouting up, and blossoming into promising potentiality.
Let me start by saying how deeply I respect and admire full-time stay-at-home-moms. Having been one myself for 16 months, I am well aware of the commitment of energy, emotion, and non-stop, hard work and heavy lifting that the job entails. Frankly, it is the most rigorous work I have ever done. Hands down.
Furthermore, my months at home with my daughter have been incredibly rewarding, and I would not trade them for all the world. Ella is my gem, my treasure of treasures, and the time we’ve spent one-on-one has allowed for unparalleled bonding. The quantity of time we’ve had has been surpassed only by the quality of connection that it has fostered, as we nurtured a strong and reliable attachment through nursing, babywearing, reading together, napping together, singing and dancing together, all in the context of grace-based parenting.
The days are closing in on March 7th, when my Ella will graduate to the 16 month mark. (The same day upon which her daddy will be 6 days past his 29th birthday, and leaning hard into the living of his 30th year.) We are entering a new stage, as we leave infancy behind in the settling dust of 2005. Ella is not merely walking, but running, hurtling her growing body forward with increasing speed and agility. And while she’s been successfully climbing stairs for months now, this morning was the first where she descended them on her own, utterly independent of even a maternal nudge.
As much as my heart endeavors to deny it, tiptoeing along the edges of the now obvious truth, my Ella is no longer a baby. She is a quickly becoming a BIG GIRL. She no longer coos at me, but speaks to me in deliberate (if incomprehensible) strings of words, phrases….even paragraphs! She has a will and a way all her own. Her voice, preferences, and personality are emerging with gusto!
The other truth that I am exploring, and trying to find comfort in, is that I no longer feel “called” or inclined towards staying at home full-time. Just as Ella has begun to assert her individuality, I feel my own resurfacing. Ella is no longer dependent upon my constant companionship, nor does it solely fulfill her growing needs for social interaction. Now, more often than she is cradled in my lap, she is crawling out of it in hot pursuit of a friend her size….
Right in the midst of pontificating on these topics, opportunities appear to be dropping into my lap. Just as I am beginning to feel as if I might have some truly concrete direction in my “professional” life, doors are beginning to swing open. So, we are looking at our options for a part-time, play-based “school” for Ella, and preparing simultaneously for the career opportunities that seem to be opening up to me.
Right in the middle of all of this I’ve been reading this amazing book. In Storycatchers Christina Baldwin eloquently articulates my own love affair with the written word, and my lifelong obsession with the medium of story. Baldwin has brought to life all of the unsaid things that dance around my heart and mind on a daily bases.
(Sidebar- if you are one of my many accomplished writer friends, you must own a copy of this book.)
The 241 pages sandwiched between the covers of this volume have effectively reawakened longings inside of me that I’d long forgotten, or at least rested on a dusty shelf for a time. Passion is stirring. Ideas are whirring around in the blender of my head, and I predict that a scrumptious, sweet treat is about to emerge. Something that goes down smooth, and nourishes the soul. Something that bridges the gap between story and social justice, writing and ridding the world of inequity. A brilliant bleeding of the colors of my life, one into the other.
“When we live in a family, a community, a country where we know each other’s true stories, we remember our capacity to lean in and love each other into wholeness.” Christina Baldwin
As details materialize, I promise to divulge them. Until then, I covet your prayers for clear direction and Divine intervention.
May the God of all peace guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, this day and forevermore.