I’m sorry…what was your name again?

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I read a lot about how women’s bodies are public property.

It’s political and in your face at times, but it’s true.

It just is.

I know women’s bodies are constantly being policed, but I’ve been dealing with this odd feeling that the second I got married…my body really became something up for discussion by anyone and everyone. Specifically, family planning.

Before I even walked down the aisle, strangers were giving me advice (that I didn’t ask for) on how long we should wait to have kids and how many. Now I can’t escape the incessant conversations on when we should have another and how it’s so much better to have them as close together as possible.

I was lucky to not have anyone touch me when I was pregnant who I didn’t want in my space (I guess my face does not lend itself an invitation to touch my body), but once Bennett was out it was as if I had a sign over my head inviting any strange person to talk to me about the next baby.

I even made a joke once that I would rather space children a little further apart and not be incontinent than get pregnant too soon (by the way, assuming that I COULD get pregnant again).

I was told not to be selfish.

I didn’t want to write yet another rant on this, so I made haikus at my desk during a lunch break this week.

It’s a set of three to show a progression of my story. It isn’t anything earth shattering or well written or amazing, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I find writing does something to assist emotions that dawdle. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to put a little creativity into the world.

 

Woman no baby

Years go by she’s bad lady

Baby comes so good

 

Four months it is time

Second baby now now now

Bad mom if you wait

 

Body not working

Sleep deprived, poop up to eyes

Blessed, but you’re joking

 

I hope to have something  more insightful and well-written for my next installment. For now, you will just have to forgive my sleep deprived mind that is resolving emotional issues in 5-7-5 couplets.

Love Story

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Our little family is currently in the throes of a 4 month sleep regression.

This is also in addition to a dog that is sick and is showing it all over the house at all hours of the day and night.

There is not one living being under our roof that is at its best (even our plants look sad).

We are tired, eating crap, grunting, sniping at each other with dog poop in one hand and baby poop in the other….in short, we are in love.

Let me explain.

A few days ago I heard someone on the radio talking about love and weddings and what scripture reading they wanted to showcase on their big day.

It has actually always been a little game I play with myself to see what people have read at their weddings. I think it says so much, especially since 95% of the verses read have nothing to do with marriage or human love in the first place. This is in addition to the woefully lacking perspective of love from a woman in scripture.

I often look to my homegirl, Martha, in Luke – the patron saint of a woman getting shamed for doing the work no one else is willing to do and keeping things running – as a hint toward real “love”.

The thing is that dirty, messy, human love is rarely patient, easily angers, and keeps record of wrongs. It does this because it’s human.

Human love is a son caring for his incontinent father. It is a mother worried sick over her child with addiction. It’s a single mother working 4 jobs to make ends meet. It’s a woman staying by her sister’s side during 36 hours of labor. It is a woman leaving a toxic and abusive situation. It is living on an hour and a half of sleep because of a sleep regression with a dog with diarrhea….and then willingly waking up and doing it all over again.

This love is base and primal and bumpy and can at times bring out the worst in us. But, love is a willing choice every hour and every day. It is choosing to stay (or go) when no one else in the same position would or has. You don’t close in on yourself (although, at times I seriously fantasize about spending an entire day -and night – totally alone).

Something deep down inside of you keeps you around – fighting, and wiping, and waking up to try it again…love.

Love isn’t about power or best friends or kisses under the stars or chocolates. Those are really nice things (and I look forward to getting back to all of them), but real true human love is so much better and complex than that.

Or….at least that’s what I told myself this morning at 2:38 am while holding Bennett in my arms, the sick dog at my feet, while my partner continued to be by my side in the trenches with dried spit-up on his arm and remnants of the chicken fried rice we had for dinner on his pants.

That’s some serious down and dirty love.