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Essay Week One : Memory of My Father

posted by motherhoodrising@gmail.com May 29, 2017 0 comments

I remember the bright yellow sun and the sky being as blue as an ocean. The smell of hot dogs and sunblock in the air gives me feelings of home. Putting my toes in the water, I sit on the aluminum ladder, imagining my feet are the fins of my bright green mermaid tail. The next flash is water rushing into my nose as I push with my feet, searching for the floor. My eyes rise above the waterline and I see himlaughing and telling me to swim. My father was just out of arm’s length and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t reach him. I can still feel my heart racing and my body becoming flush with panic and fear.

In my memory, I feel angry and confused. Why would my father stand idly by while I struggled to stay above water? This detail troubles me and makes me question my recollection of this day. Speaking with my mother, she confirmed my memory but was unsure of the exact day this specific event occurred. My feeling is that I was around five years old at this time, but she quickly corrects me and says I was three years old. I go on to ask her about this day and why my father would do this. She says that he would often do this with my sister and I. It is how he learned to swim, so he thought it would help us in some way. Not only did this memory impact the way I thought of my father growing up, but even now I struggle to understand this day.

If I had the opportunity to ask him if he remembers this day and how I reacted, maybe even how it made him feel to see his three year old daughter struggle… I would.

Unfortunately, those details will not be known as I no longer speak to my father.

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My Village //

posted by motherhoodrising@gmail.com March 24, 2015 1 Comment

Pain rushes from under my arm and right out of my nipple. This constant tide of sharp unbearable pain. With each swallow my eyes close and I breathe deep- and exhale it away. Another round of clogged ducts, sore breasts, and that bleb that keeps coming back to your favorite boob.

We lay here… Intertwined as we always do. I hear the clack of your tongue as you push the milk into your throat. My eyes follow the glow of my screen toward your sweet round face. You are almost there. Almost asleep.

I love the way you pull and push my skin like a fresh kitten at her mother’s teat. You know just what to do to bring my milk down all on your own. This is engrained in you- this work.

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I often describe this continuous flowing river of complete harmony – when talking about my children. What I often forget to mention… Are the boulders that force the raging waters to turn unexpectedly. While most days our river is calm and meandering, the rain does come.

Pouring down – covering us.

Our river thrashes, waves breaking over the shore.

Flooding our plains- the mud heavy on our feet.

To pull ourselves from this heavy weight, we hold out our hands. Reaching for one another and asking for help. Just a little pull to get out.

This is where we need our village. Sisters connected by motherhood or passion.

Sisters that come to you when you need an extra hand.

My week was full… Full of whines and whimpers, tears, fevers, and cuddles.

My week was hard and sleepless, full of hopes for the better and loneliness.

I held my feverish Birdy while her sister bounced and smiled. I lived in my pajamas and unwashed hair.

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We snuggled, we cried, we watched Peppa Pig. SO MUCH PEPPA PIG.

This is our first real sickness.

each coughing fit knocks the wind right out of her sails.

My free and wild Bird is grounded.

IMG_2291When one of my children are sick, it pulls me into a place I would rather not be. Instead of being in my normal positive state, I am brought to a place of what if’s and complete sadness. My empathy overflows and I am pulled into the sickness with them. I have to remind myself to get back to my center, to let go of what it is I can’t change and to just surround them. 

This is why it is so important to take time out to pause and evaluate.

To breathe.

I knew that soon- Ever would show signs of this. But I never expected what has arrived.

11071510_816964921731855_4732214063245733390_nShe sleeps rarely — but when she does it gives her small body a break from the horrible cough. This cough that seems to be here to stay.

As mothers we give. We give until there isn’t much left for ourselves. When left alone it can feel like you’re in the room with a stranger. Looking in the mirror feeling one emotion right after the next.

Lately mine is hope quickly followed with defeat. I am tired and overwhelmed.

We control our own mood, our outlook, our energy.

That same energy is given to our babies – sick or well.

This is why the women we choose to be in our circle must be able to balance our energy. Our circle must be filled with empathetic mothers that know what it is to just want. To want something so badly for their children. Whether it be education, good health, or for everything in the world that is special to be pulled directly into their children’s lives.

I reached out today. After nine days of sickness and no end in sight, I asked my fellow mothers for a hand.

Today I will wrap my arms around each of them as they walk into my home. I will say thank you and I will feel a complete gratitude that will be impossible to express. 

Some of this weight will be lifted from my feet and I will be able to walk again.

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