My son only 2
Cheeks like white moons
In July’s summer sun
Dancing with a bubble gun
Happiness that sweats
A breeze that I would catch
A smile that’s been made
in my heart that has been taken
My first pregnancy with my son Janek was physically a breeze and mentally a struggle. I remember only a few weeks of nausea, followed by the ability to hike and work out regularly, and heartburn that was easily cured by a tums (or ten). Physically, I felt amazing and was able to work full time without complaint, relax when necessary and participate in moderate exercise as I pleased. I craved yogurt parfaits and tangy fruits, not giving into sweets and avoiding excessive weight gain. Six months after my son’s birth, I was back into better shape than before pregnancy. And yes, I was one of those bitches who avoided stretch marks to boot (cocoa butter, cocoa butter, cocoa butter – the kind you buy in a small tub and applies like cholesterol found at Sally’s – 3X daily).
So yeah, I had it pretty good my first time around physically. Mentally, not so much. With my first son I was anxious, nervous, irritable, and annoyingly sober. I was only 22 years old and not prepared for the transition into motherhood (who the hell is?). While I was able to keep on my toes, I mainly did so to occupy my boredom, and those first kicks freaked me out more so than they amazed me.
No, I did not enjoy pregnancy despite my physical abilities the first time through. I also didn’t realize how good I had it, how lucky I was to be so active (I was bowling the night before I went into labor 42 weeks along). But, mentally I was a wreck. I was anxious, not finished with my undergraduate degree and panicking about the future. I sincerely felt like my life was over in a multitude of ways. How would I ever achieve those dreams that felt so dear to me?! The ones of getting out of my hometown and traveling, inspiring people like I wanted, and you know, not being so stupid sober all the time (alright, nine months but it felt like FOREVER). I really felt like the end of my youth was happening and I’d end my night in tears over it regularly thinking about my sad self.
I was naive. Once I had my son I realized how ungrateful I’d been acting. It doesn’t mean I was wrong for feeling all those feels though. They were very real fears and appropriate for a first time mother at 22. But, my son who is now two and a half has actually served as an inspiration larger than my selfish wants. My life isn’t over, it’s ongoing. I went back to school AND finished my degree, 45 credits in a single year with my baby boy on my hip… and another in my belly.
Life with children doesn’t mean you have to succumb to being a soccer mom, make brown bag lunches and drive a mini van. I think of it as a means of motivation, UNDYING MOTIVATION to get what you want so that you can show your kids – “Babes, you are capable of doing anything, too.”
So my second pregnancy hasn’t been the easiest physically. It has kind of wiped me the hell out. Chasing around a two year old with an extra 30lbs (whoops) on my hips, is enough exercise for anyone to tolerate. I get dizzy taking power walks and instead of healthy granola, I crave Nutella smores and peanut butter ice cream (cocoa butter, cocoa butter, cocoa butter).
However, mentally I am at peace. I am not anxious, except in the way that I want to hold my little’s hand and kiss his new, pink, plump cheeks.
There is a serious joy of pregnancy I missed out on my first time around. And all those worries are now gone, replaced with feelings of complacency and bliss. It is beautiful. Those hippies with their water births are onto something real (maybe not the water birth thinking back to HBO Girls season finale) and I really am enjoying myself even if my feet don’t want to do anything other than swell.
“How do you feel?” I feel really good. I feel like I’ve got everything I could ever want in this life, like I’m carrying a gift and not a load (okay, it’s more like a pleasantly heavy load I don’t mind bearing). I feel beautiful, I feel proud, and most importantly, I don’t feel like the world is ending. I feel like life’s ongoing, and another child isn’t going to prevent me from doing remarkable things, they’re only going to help me pursue them further than before.
“Charleston Church Shooting” keeps blasting on my screen
my phone, my laptop, and my TV
I hear the phrase from those shopping
a radio host talking
once again, how do we understand a stab to the gut kind of story
when another racial matter stops loaded chests from their rising and in people we
fail to show compassion
When I first heard what happened, I thought, “of course again this has happened”
and then a thought
something has happened
something inside of myself has horribly happened.
I am stone
where is the blow that this news brings my heart of what I thought was always warm?
Why am I so unmoved by the earth shattering broadcast that is supposed to cause a knee buckling sensation and why are my hands not shaking? Have I gone crazy or is this world beyond a cure- a saddening acceptance I’ve been carrying
& how long? Where is my hope – the one on my sleeve I preached proudly? Did it wash off like a tattoo’d thumb or was it stolen from me when I was – oh how long was I
That sort of loss when you cry so hard you can’t cry anymore type of break up – with an American hippie’s dream, “peace, love, and unity” – my patience
a desert run dry from too many rainless nights to water its kindhearted intentions.
“Charleston Church Shooting” please pinch me from this sedated-by-news-gorging slumber and help me feel again, so to speak
up for other mothers grieving the loss of loved children because of something so irrelevant in meaning
No, I can’t sit back any longer and let the world my children grow up in be flooded with hate, crime, and hate crime then keep saying, “We’re doomed so why must I bother?”
It was Nietzsche who once said that famous phrase, “God is dead”, but not for the reasons our atheists hold certain.
The phrase was not a winning statement but, a heartbreaking murder of greatness
we killed the almighty argument because we stopped caring for the questions that kept arising from such beauteous wonder.
And so what would Nietzsche think? If he never died from the wretched green
would he say, “We are dead” just the same?
Graduation, May 2015 from Buffalo State College. Picture taken: Delaware Park(Hoyt Lake) or better known as the place I played a lot of frisbee throughout my college years and hula hooped my baby fat into its hills, watched Shakespeare in the summer drunk on Carlo Rossi, a sharp cheddar and Zettis freshly baked bread. I lingered late at night on an abandoned stage with a buzz and a few friends, cruised through its cherry blossoms on a midnight bike pedal, and slept under her big willows at noon stuffed on picnic jello. I’ve raised my son a block away, taken him where he’s learned to climb hollow, plastic mountains all while making friends. Seven years not too long, I am a graduate today. A bachelor in the Arts, I grew up here with Frank Lloyd Wright himself, on the steps of Albright Knox, yes, Picasso was my neighbor. I did it with a two year old on my side and a belly like a bubble, five months pregnant. Maybe it’s my surroundings but it feels too much like art. I am a graduate today.
Queen City Kait
On a slow gliding torpedo toward the Hudson, big city rumble – traveling alone. Riding a bit shaky, bumping off steel frames, strangers wear their grins.
Snow blanketing fields outside my window – lay peacefully untouched in the rarely seen plains of New York’s rural mass – impoverished back allies of forgotten sheds. A town’s mutated gene with a broken window, three rundown cars, some cluttered lawn mowers all meant for fixing – covered in angelic, glittering white.
The sun, a blazing ball of gold on Friday morning –bounces through skinny, sleeping trees and if I close my eyes, creates anxiety -A flashing red and white dance party –eyes widen relief – the tracks kicking up white dust below.
Friday morning. Our lucky American’s last laboring frenzy. Counting down the hours before the happiest 5-9 – “another night running late” – slamming cinnamon poison under mint rubber – you feel no shame – you feel your feet swell – feel your legs warm – carrying up into your face flushing hot with reward.
On a train, with myself – some funky beats to block out talk – how nice not to talk – and watch – watch the sun rave with birch and pine until a massive willow who stands like wisdom – turns our fire briefly to night in a glimpse – and is gone.
The coldest month our north has seen in quite some time – not made for people’s hands to peddle or ponder – a femme fatal murderous winter –choking lungs into frozen ice boxes that hold no breath – she’s tallied tall numbers – our taker – and yet this train is full of souls in route to another frostbitten building holding heat – proving yet again, life demands no stopping.
But how the trees dance – how the snow swings in bouts of wind that blow like cotton softly – how the sun creates hope brighter than the white that blinds me – how the untouched plains remind me – beyond my stinging phalanges and nose – what our world is without my being.