turning a corner
why I can't stop writing mediocre poetry
Since Nettie's been born, I've wanted so badly to write about her and about motherhood and all the little moments that I don't want to forget. But I've had a serious writer's block there. I keep a very straight-forward journal, which is written as daily notes, nothing more. I've tried many times to start a poem or a bit of prose about something that touched me. It just hasn't been accessible. I don't seem to make any headway and what I manage to write, I hate.
All of a sudden, though, I find myself starting poems in my head in response to something funny she said or some bizarre situation we find ourselves in. Then when naptime comes, I run to the computer to try to get it down. They aren't my best work, but they are something. They hold a bit of her, they make a memory.
So much of the first two years was just really physically and emotionally hard for me. Nursing was so precious, but so exhausting, and honestly, it was always a source of stress for me. I worried about my supply and my diet all the time. And having a little person who is completely physically dependent on you is wonderful and I never want to forget all the snuggles, but it is taxing, especially for an introvert like me who needs alone time, time to unplug from people.
I ran out of milk about a month ago, right at her birthday time, and though she still asks to "see if Momma has milk" a few times a day, (and we do), we are both doing fine with the fact that I don't. That has brought some separation and some relief for me, and I wonder if it's this separation that has allowed me to start writing about her. Most of what I have felt these first two years has been so intense and overwhelming, and so mixed with angst and fear, that articulating it was too much. I have a dear friend who wrote a beautiful poem about walking at night with her infant son, at least twenty years after the fact. It is so intimate and captures the moment and the feelings so well. I thought of it many times when I was up nursing Nettie in the night.
Maybe in five or ten or even twenty years I'll be able to come back to my daily journal of these first two years and make something more beautiful of it. I don't know. For now, I'm just happy to be capturing any little part of my sweet, kooky girl.
Momma has lots of moles,
I like the little red ones.
We can see them when she doin’ her yoga.
Momma has blue and white eyes.
There is little bits of pink
right there in the corner, right there.