06 Feb 2013, Posted by elizabeth in Blog, 11 Comments
Exactly three years ago I wrote this love letter to you.
I was just rounding the bend on the first trimester of my first – and, I’m confident now, only – pregnancy. Never sick a single day, I remember feeling nervous that this was a bad sign, foretelling a “weak” pregnancy that might not stick, but after passing that magical 12-week mark I breathed a deep sigh of relief. This was how I told the world about your impending arrival. It was an ebullient time, the final gasp of winter before spring broke through the cold, crusty days. On our last Valentine’s Day as a family of two your dad and I spent the day working on a do-it-yourself bathroom remodel that we had just begun, one we were certain would take a few short months and wrapped up just a few weeks before you were born, a desperate race against the clock. But that day we were full of the bright optimism that one feel’s at the beginning of such projects, before the inevitable budget-busting, time-sucking setbacks dig in their muddy heels and threaten to sully everything. Before reality has a chance to cast its long shadow over the excitement. There is a photo of me taken that day, standing in the midst of the construction zone, pretending to shampoo my hair where the new shower head would be, a slight bulge peeking out just above my waistband, luminous smile swiped across my face, oblivious to what an all-consuming project this would end up being.
30 Jan 2013, Posted by elizabeth in Blog, 12 Comments
A few weeks ago I awoke one morning with a small, tight knot in my back. It had lodged itself in the valley next to my scapula, a compact mass of taut tissue that had taken up residence overnight, for no apparent reason. I tried massaging it with my fingertips, my elbow arranged in a sharp hairpin in front of my nose to reach the awkward spot on my back. I tried stretching, soaking in hot baths, and taking Ibuprofen. Not only did it not budge, it grew worse. Each time I inhaled deeply I felt the tightness in the upper-left quadrant of my back expand; each time I twisted my torso around to look out my blind spot while driving I felt a tingle of pain race up my back. After nearly two weeks I finally called my massage therapist, who was able to see me a few days later.
23 Jan 2013, Posted by elizabeth in Blog, 12 Comments
I was sitting in a wingback chair at my aunt’s house, listening to a detailed story about how her Achilles’s tendon had dissolved over a matter of weeks. It was almost 10:30, and we were preparing to turn in for the night in anticipation of our flight back to Albuquerque the next day when Maikael had innocently asked, “So what happened to your foot anyway?” Equally blessed and cursed with a fertile imagination, it wasn’t difficult for me to envision the ropy muscle separating from the bone and then ceasing to exist altogether, like acid poured over metal, and my mind circled around this mystery in an infinite loop until I was overcome with a familiar sensation.
16 Jan 2013, Posted by elizabeth in Blog, 22 Comments
I used to soak in the bath nearly every night. It was one of the few habits that formed in childhood and persisted well into my adult years, a reliable part of my daily routine. Once, upon visiting a friend out of town, the first thing she exclaimed when I walked through the door of her home was, “I haven’t had time to clean the bathtub yet!” Sometimes I soaked for only 15 minutes, other times for more than an hour, but in either case it was a way to tend to body and soul, a restorative experience that helped me to transition from day to night, activity to rest. It was where I did some of my best thinking. Then, as the saying goes, I had a baby. At my first visit to the midwife’s office I was warned to avoid soaking in tubs during my pregnancy, which was a major disappointment: if there was ever a time of life to be taking regular baths, this was it. By the time Abra was born I was solidly out of the routine, and in the ragged months that followed, when there was no easy way to delineate day and night and no time for leisurely soaks, I let what had been a lifelong ritual and pleasure slip through my fingers.
09 Jan 2013, Posted by elizabeth in Blog, 8 Comments
I am painfully aware of my absence from this space. It was a high contrast holiday season, one that filled me with equal doses of peace and joy and exhaustion and worry. I intend to write about some of what’s transpired the past month soon, but right now it feels daunting to dive right in. Instead, I’m taking a toe-dip back into the blogging waters. Although we’re a solid week and a half into the New Year, I’d like to take a few moments to reflect on the year that’s just expired. Inspired by a meme that I saw here and here, here are my answers to 20 questions about 2012: