Saturday, December 8, 2007

shoes, spoons and poetry

Daniel has been getting his first set of molars in the past month, and it's meant a few sleepless nights for all of us. I can't imagine how painful it must be for those giant mountain ranges of teeth to push through his raw gums. And the drool this produces is soaking his shirts on a daily basis. I change him into a dry shirt before we go outside for fear of a deep freeze against his chest. The other night, he was waking up intermittently, crying and struggling to sit up, throwing himself against our bodies until we were awake enough to hold him. Usually, just sitting up in bed and cradling him in my arms helps him go back to sleep, but it doesn't help me sleep, and boy does mama need her sleep these days. We ended up spending most of the early morning hours snoozing in a spooning position, his head on my shoulder, his little body curled into a fetal position and tucked up against mine, my free arm draped over his leg.

This story and these pictures of Daniel trying on our shoes are just filler, really. This week has been unusually contemplative for me. There's so much of myself that I could spill onto this keyboard, but it's hard for me to do that when I'm immersed so much in my thoughts and reflecting on things to the point where I just need quiet and space to let everything simmer. I don't know if it's my upcoming 40th birthday causing me to evaluate my life, make plans, claim my dreams; or the author of Eat, Pray, Love being on Oprah and prompting me to think about what I "really, really, really" want; or the fact that every day something triggers my wondering if I am going to live long enough for my sons to know me, for me to be able to watch them grow up. It's not fear or anxiety that occupies my mind at those moments, but a certain sense of sadness and and urgency and awareness that I don't know the hour nor the day — that none of us do, really — and we'd best live with a sense of purpose, of what is important to us, not superficially but deep down.

My friend Johanna posted a poem on her blog by Mary Oliver that ends like this:

"Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"

Our wild and precious lives, indeed.


Monkeymama said...

I've been in a similar mood lately, maybe the changing seasons and Advent and all of that. Greg and his dad took Rebecca to the laundromat today and I couldn't help but think about how soon she and our next little one will be independent. Life goes so fast.

kristine said...

I, too, have been in one of these little funks lately. I think with there being so much going on, the holidays and the added pregnancy hormones, it probably doesn't help. I love the pics of Daniel in the shoes. Looks like Graycen. She tries to put any and all shoes on all the time! Bless their little hearts!

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I believe life does not contain irony, but rather IS irony itself. The very thing that brings you most joy, Em, is what brings you most sadness. Your family (Steve and sons), your greatest joy, is what ironically also brings you most sadness at the thought of not seeing them grow up. (BTW these fears may very well NOT come true.)

- Susanne

Anonymous said...

Oh, Em, I received your card yesterday (Monday). Mom and Dad, plus Mary, received theirs on Saturday. You may now be at rest.

Adorable pictures on the card! I really like Daniel's patterned sweater. Looks very Minnesotan!

- Susanne

liz said...

Em, I've been feeling similarly introspective lately, and I too have attributed it to the combination of a big birthday coming up and Eat Pray Love! :)

Barbara said...

Maybe there's something going around; I've been feeling very introspective lately too! My mom's death has given me a sense of "sadness and urgency" too, and the constant awareness that life is just too short--for all of us.

PS Remember what Susanne said; your fears may very well not come to pass!!!!! Of course you're always in my prayers. :)