Refeathering

Sunday, November 11, 2018

I was laying in the bath this afternoon. It is one of my weekend treats - baths in the afternoon, soaking in epsom salt and french lavender oil. The decadence of it - the time it takes to draw a just right bath, then submerge the whole of my body down into it. I have no where to be and so I move slowly in my domain.

The windows in my bedroom are wide open so I can hear the geese calling as they depart for the winter.

At 48, I am perpetually hot. Thus, my windows stay open for the winter, leading my family to declare my room the Arctic. I glance up when they say this, in my tiny camisole and yoga shorts. I am not hot at all. The fan above my bed sees constant use.

With Emily away at college, the house is deeply quiet. While others may be rattled at this sort of lack of movement, I am not. I relish it. I've said before that I should have been a hermit, and I still think this is true. Terrance and I have returned to moving slightly closer in each others orbit but there remain wide swaths of space between us. Not angry space, just space. We are the moon and the earth, attracting and repelling one another in turn. As such, the integrity of our planets stays intact.

Emily declared, upon her return for the summer in May, that we are more "couple like" and I think that is true. Without the perpetual tsunami of parenting her, we have been able to unearth long buried facets of our relationship - things I wasn't sure remained under the detritus of time and parenthood.

We love our daughter - this fierce, fragile soul that came from us - but she exhausted us, both  individually and as a couple. I do not know how people parent more than one child, because the cost to us was massive.  I do not speak in financial terms, but on the cellular level. The level on which you feel you have been broken, cracked open and your marrow laid bare.

Motherhood did that to me. Speaking as a person who hates showing her vulnerability, motherhood felt like exposure more so than marriage ( which was it's own raw fragility for me). This exasperating human I created demanded all of my energy, all of my attention, while having the boldness to walk around daring to be hurt.  On which front do you fight?

As we watch her navigate, at a distance, the stuff of life, I relish my space from it while delighting in her triumphs.

My occasionally empty nest has afforded me the opportunity to re-grow my own plumage. 

4 Baleful Regards:

Anonymous said...

YOU'RE ALIVE! Yay!
I found your blog in 2016, and I still read it. Your posts sometimes make me laugh, sometimes they make me cry, sometimes both in the same post. I think your hilarious, insightful, contemplative writing has made a lot of people's days better.
I'm not nearly as good with words as you. But somehow, even though I've never really known you that well and I hardly ever even commented, even though I'm not a mother and we don't have much in common, since I started reading your blog two years ago, you started to feel like my friend. And I think you're a pretty awesome person.
So thank you for writing this post and reappearing, even if just for a day.

Elizabeth said...

You put into words what I cannot. Having a child almost broke me.

Dawn said...

Hello friends!

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