(I spent a lot of time thinking about, and writing, this post. The effort doesn't show; It's a bit all over the place. When I finished, I read it over and decided not to publish it. I felt that it made me sound weak, mushy, neurotic, insecure, self-indulgent. But then. I decided to publish. After all, this is me at this (murky and magical) moment in time.)
Today is my half birthday. I am officially 32.5. So what, right? Right. Wait. Maybe not.
This is the first time in ages that I have actually remembered my half birthday on my half birthday. Usually, most of April flies by and I note to myself, Oh, I missed my half birthday again. But this year, I'm aware. And this is good, I imagine. Maybe it has something to do with the state I'm in, this postnatal haze, this freeze frame of new life. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that deep down I'm lamenting getting older so I'm more cognizant of milestones big and small and each day that slips away.
I'm not sure.
What amazes me and alarms me is that my real birthday seems like yesterday. And I know that is beyond cliched to say, but I'll say it again: It feels like yesterday. Some of you might remember, but on my 32nd birthday, I had a big ultrasound whereby we learned the sex of our baby. Our baby, our girl, who is now here, healthy, happy, home. She was four weeks old yesterday and before bed, I placed her on our sea green couch and snapped some pictures. Of her snoozing in that silly Yale nightgown that her big sisters both wore when they too were itty-bitty. I snapped pictures because I didn't know what else to do. How else do we record our moments, our magic? How else do we stop time and mark our memories?
So. Today on my half birthday, on the day after my littlest girl's four week birthday, I am thinking about time. How it travels and tortures and tricks and tames. How it is a constant and brutal reminder of how little control we have, and how much love we feel. I love time - its ephemeral pulse, its transcendence, its beauty. But I also hate it - its rabid indifference, its stubborn march, its cruel passage.
I realize something now. In this moment, on this morning, on this day. I need time. A little time. I need to stop, to surrender, to sit back, to soak. So much is happening and so fast and I need to immerse myself in it all. My girls need me and I need them and we all need each other. Life is changing and change is life. Exquisite things and terrible things have happened recently - to me and to others and in the world and I want to pause and think about these things, these things that matter. I want to roll them over in my tired mind, and then roll them over some more.
What does all this mean? What really underlies this ramble? I don't entirely know. Sometimes, my words are cryptic even to me. What I do know is that my instincts led me to write this post. To explain, albeit inarticulately, that I need something. A mini-break. A major breath. A little time.
I'm not sure what a little time means. It could mean a few days. Or weeks. It could mean a month. Or several.
I'm not sure what a little time means. It could mean I post just pictures. Or tiny little paragraphs. Or big, searching questions. Or nothing at all.
I'm not sure. I don't know.
What I do know is that during this time, however long it is and whatever it looks like, I will be busy. Memorizing the mythology of three little girls. Thinking about how the world can be so glorious and grim at the very same time. Talking to friends whom I love and miss. Visiting your lovely blogs once more. Watching a lot of trashy reality television. Brainstorming fictional worlds. Losing pounds. Gaining strength. Asking questions - big and small and medium - aloud, in my mind, in my dreams. Sleeping when I can.
Why this post? To seek permission. From you. From me. (Mostly from me.)
Permission to take a little time.
Do I have your permission to pause? Is there something wrong with the fact that I need your permission to pause? Why is it so so hard, almost impossible, for me to give myself a break even when I have just had a baby? Do you also have a difficult time slowing down? How do you feel about time and how ruthlessly and rapidly it passes?