About a month ago we started introducing Luna to soft foods. So far she loves bananas with cinnamon, chia seed pudding, and peas & carrots.
This transition from milk to food is a messy one. All sorts of messy. Luna gets messy, I get messy, our clothes get messy, and sometimes, her belly gets messy, if you know what I mean. It’s basically a disaster by the time her tiny breakfast is over, and I didn’t even see it coming.
I’m not going to lie, this portion of babyhood is a fun, but challenging transition for me. Certain, not all, but certain aspects of me are a neat freak. For instance, I love a clean kitchen. There is no going to bed until the sink is empty and the counter has been wiped down. It’s the ideal way to start the next day in my opinion. Well, that and a made bed.
On the contrary, you will see a basket of laundry sitting somewhere in my room, on the floor, for at least a week’s time if not longer.
These days I am cleaning the kitchen for what feels like all day long. Prior to having a baby, I heard only rumblings of this. Now I think perhaps it is my reality. One that came on quickly and unexpectedly.
Being a mom is hard. Going to therapy helps. Having a supportive, hands-on co-parent really helps. Committing to exercise of some sort every day is huge.
And what do I find most helpful at times? Moments of nothing.
A couple times a week in the evening, I’ll go into our office/workout space, turn off all the lights, and lay down on the yoga mat. Sometimes I close my eyes, other times I’ll look up at the sky (last night I saw a star!) through the skylight above. Perhaps I’ll listen to a guided meditation or just the sound of my breath.
I’m remembering that meditation IS medication.
I am learning to lean into the mess.
Ok, back to soft foods.
As I was feeding Luna the other day, memories of my mom came rushing back.
June suffered from dementia and there were many times I fed her. In fact, I fed her her last meal of avgolemono. A Greek soup, made of egg, lemon, and chicken. It’s delicious and it was June’s favorite.
We didn’t plan on this being her farewell meal, it just so happened to be that way. Our friend, Jen, had heard the news that something about June seemed different so she dropped off a few containers of soup for dinner.
I fed June by the front window where she often sat and watched the world go by. She was unusually calm and beautifully content. Two evenings later she would pass away peacefully in her home, surrounded by her loved ones, under a pink full moon.
So many aspects of my experience of having a mother with a neurological disease are here with me now. It’s almost as if I was being prepared for this newest role.
This somewhat familiar journey of caring for another human.
The mess, the patience, the spoonfeeding, the changing of diapers, and the bathing. The inability to speak. The frustration.
Those moments of having no idea of what I am doing but confident that if I’m leading with love, I’m doing it right.
Luna has helped me recall some of the saddest days I spent with my mom, and on the contrary, caring for June gave me tools for some of the most beautiful moments I’ll share with my baby daughter.
And then I remember that with Luna it will get “easier”. That independence and autonomy will prevail. Whereas with June, day by day that all dissipated.
This reads and sounds very sad.
And it is sad. It’s the saddest gift in the whole wide world.
Maryclare Trela says
I love you so much!