Catching Up and a Poem on Year One

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hi, friends. It's been a very long time... months since I've written here, though I probably think about this blog and how badly it needs updating everyday. Free time has been particularly scarce this summer. I think I've mentioned it before, but I am so busy that I actually feel guilty spending down time on myself, and not using it to do a load of laundry, or dishes, or homework...none of which I ever seem to quite catch up on.

Tonight, class was cancelled. Since Carl and I have class at the same time (we're both taking evening courses this summer), we carpool, so while he sits in class, I'm sitting in the library... catching up on some much-needed blogging. So much has happened since I wrote last. Mother's Day? That feels like a million years ago. Since then, Carl has completed two legal internships and a triathlon, I've become closer to a lovely group of young mamas, Lily turned one (a we celebrated with two parties!), Carl turned twenty-nine, Ryland joined us for the summer and turned seven and we just returned to San Antonio from a weekend at the coast. Lots of cake around here.

rye & lily lounging on our new hammock

Over the next few days, I'm going to be playing catch-up around here, and posting some photos of things that have happened to us over the past months. I don't want to forget any of it, and sadly, it all seems to have gone by so quickly.

And in honor of my cancelled (poetry) class this evening, I'd like to share a poem I wrote about Lily's playgroups. I don't know if I've mentioned before, but Lily and I are members of a pretty incredible parenting group here in San Antonio, called San Antonio Natural Parenting. I've made a lot of amazing women (and babies) through this network and for the past six months, have been coordinating a monthly playgroup for working mamas. There are a half-dozen or so of us who happen to be first-time mothers and have become pretty close. It's been nice. Here's a little something I wrote, inspired by our dates...

Year One

Six young women sit cross-legged
on a hand-me-down quilt
stained with strawberry slices
and banana puree.

A half-dozen babes find freedom
near the blanket’s edge
and it tastes like blades of yellowed grass
& tiny fistfuls of dirt,

outfitted in small-scale sundresses,
miniature collared shirts and Madras shorts
that make even strangers smile
and point to ripe baby thighs—
resplendent and spilling
out of colorful cloth diapers
(that have come a long way
since safety pins and fabric scraps,
don’t you know).

The women,
like seasoned artisans,
trade notes on soft-milled laundry soap,
homemade diaper crème,
the many uses of virgin coconut oil
and laugh about the smell of baby poop
and how it’s sweetest from the breast.

The sleepy South Texas sun pours
over the field and hours pass
like a nap-time ritual
bubble bath splish-splash
and the first year of motherhood.

Soon all eyes turn to the littlest one
that has found her feet.
She stands two feet small--
a bald sapling—
wild-eyed and unflinching.
 

Twice she careens forward
before her doughy legs
give way and foil the plan
she has been hatching since birth.

A flash of pink gums
and a dimpling chin reveal
the saddest face you’ve ever seen
sweetened in an instant
by a swooped arm and the taste
of mother’s milk.

The others nod in approval
offer knowing smiles
and a few cradle their young
disrobing a breast in solidarity.
 

The babes draw a quick drink
and for a moment
they are sated.

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