Harmonizing: “Firewood” by Regina Spektor “Brave Dreamer” by Jewel

There are two dreams and two songs, spinning my thoughts like a record.

Two ideas have a hold of my mind tonight:

Everything is a preparation for something else.

An ending is just another beginning.

There is so much HOPE in this rotation.

I am a songwriter. But I haven’t written anything new since I became pregnant. I’ve been too tired to hear the melodies. I have also been heartbroken.

I used to write songs with a band. I had never had a band before, and it was wonderful. To spend time with like-minded creatives and produce beautiful music just by showing up and being ourselves, and to practice out loud the catch and release, to seduce the harmonies and birth the song babies into full sound ringing in my heart and out into the air, it was magical at best.

At worst, it was awkwardly tip-toeing around a secret I knew would implode the band and navigating the turbulent waters of my best friend’s divorce. She was married to the drummer. They broke up before our third rehearsal.

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“Circle Song” by Jewel

And, we’re back to running away.

I’ve mentally packed my bags.

I’ve mentally resigned from my job.

I’ve mentally dropped my weight to the floor and screamed, “IT’S NOT FAIR!!!! I DON’T WANNA GO, AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!” like a spoiled three year old.

I am not an angry person at all. Like, at ALL. So, feeling all the anger and resentment and injustice at my seemingly wonderful situation here, the one where I am a full time working mom who is well loved at her job and decently paid and has nice cushy benefits, but who has always dreamed of staying home with her babies and can’t because we need my income, is even more miserable because it doesn’t feel natural to me. I am in foreign territory. And I am SO uncomfortable.

Let me start by admitting that mercy is a gift. Humans just aren’t naturally merciful. We want justice at any cost. We want what is ours and what is due to us. And these days, we want it yesterday.

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“Take Me Home” by Us the Duo

Today, I took half the day off to be with my baby boy at his four month doctor appointment.

I will never, ever regret taking time off for him.

And today, like every other day, like even the worst day here, was just wonderful. Truly. It was.

I always sang to Johnny when he was in utero, lots of different songs, all the time, all this music.

I wondered if he would recognize any of it after he was born. I know, it’s probably impossible.

But there is one song that I really think he remembers.

Once, when he was maybe 3 weeks old, he had been crying in his crib, so I came back to get him. A bunch of times, I came back, rocked him, and put him back down. Finally, I went in and wrapped him up in my arms and sat with him in the glider next to his crib. He was crying very hard at this point; when he does that, his face gets beet red and the sound- it’s all a new mama can do to just remain calm and not completely fall to hysterics when she hears her baby screaming like my Johnny boy was!

So, I began to sing this song that I always sang to him every morning on the way to work when I was pregnant with him, “Take Me Home” by Us the Duo.

And he immediately calmed down.

His tender, salty cries fizzled out and his breathing steadied and the full weight of him sank into my flesh because he knew. He was safe. He was home.

It happens every time.

And that, my friends, is why I think he remembers.

Lord, am I so grateful to be his mama! It’s the most precious, heart-busting, back-breaking, rewarding thing I have ever been. And, if home is a person, he’s it for me right now. Johnny and his daddy are my home. My tender, salty cries fizzle out and my breathing steadies and the full weight of me and what I carry around all day sink into their love because I know. I am safe. I am home.

And it is so very good to be here.

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Today’s Voice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWc2ju_i9kY

I’m only happy when I’m with you
Home for me is where you are.
I try to smile and push on through.
But home for me is where you are.

They tell me that I’ll make it.
It’ll only be a while.
But a while lasts forever
Without you…

Send out the alarms
I’m all alone
Wrap me in your arms
Take me home
Take me home
To your arms…

I won’t be happy ’till I’m with you
Home for me is where you are.
These four walls are nothing without you.
Home for me is where you are.

They tell me that I’ll make it.
It’ll only be a while.
But a while lasts forever
Without you…

Send out the alarms
I’m all alone
Wrap me in your arms
Take me home
Take me home
To your arms…

Send out the alarms
I’m all alone
Wrap me in your arms
And take me home
Take me home
Take me home

“Do You Sleep?” by Lisa Loeb

TIRED. SO, SO TIRED.

And I got 6-7 hours of decent sleep last night!

I still fell asleep on the sofa by 6pm after school.

I am very blessed. Many new mamas don’t have the “luxury” of healthy sleep. Or a job. Or wonderful support at home. OR…. A sweetheart dream of a son. I mean that. He has his moments, but he is a DREAM. It would take me way too long to count all my blessings. If I tried, I would surely sleep longer.

And yet, there are still things I find to complain about, still things that make me toss and turn.

I am still exhausted by my life and all the activity in the day. So exhausted, that sleep is impossible.

I wish I could just….. STOP. For an hour. For a half hour.

And breathe in his sweet baby smell, deeply inhale it and save it in my lungs forever and ever.

And really, really taste this red wine and how perfectly it is paired with this chocolate that is dark and sweet and tastes like a gift.

Wait. I’m doing those things. Not at the same time, of course 😉

But I’m doing those things. So, what is my problem?

Praise God!

And, while these things are satisfying, yet they disappoint me. Because of the many long, arduous hours in the day when I’m not doing those things. When I’m running from here to there like a crazy lady, teaching and running and pumping and teaching and washing my hands and answering questions and putting out fires and never sitting and never resting and never breathing deeply, all in the name of what is ‘best’ for kids.

Killing myself is not what is best for kids. Killing myself is not what is best for anybody.

I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a teacher. I am NOT a martyr.

So why am I SO, SO, SO TIRED?

Soul tired.

We have to take care of our souls.

I have to take care of my soul.

Oh, soul….. I’m sorry.

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Today’s Voice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-Ca62l_X8M

Do you eat, sleep, do you breathe me anymore?
Do you sleep, do you count sheep anymore?
Do you sleep anymore?
Do you take plight on my tongue like lead?
Do you fall gracefully into bed anymore?

I saw you as you walked across my room
You looked out the window, you looked at the moon
And you sat on the corner of my bed
And you smoked with the ghost in the back of my head

Now I don’t know, and I don’t care if I ever will see you again
I don’t know and I don’t care if I ever will be there

Do you eat, sleep, do you breathe me anymore?
Do you sleep, do you keep me anymore? Do you sleep anymore?

You kick my foot under the table, I kick you back
I can’t say I’m able to stand for you or fall for you ever again
Wish for a perfect setting
Wishing that I am letting you take me where you want me all over again?
You can’t give yourself, absolutely to someone else

And I don’t know, and I don’t care if I ever will see you again
I don’t know, and I don’t care if I ever will be there

I saw you as you walked across my room
You looked out the window, you looked at the moon
And you sat on the corner of my bed
And you smoked with the ghost in the back of my head

Do you eat, sleep, do you breathe me anymore?
Do you sleep, do you count sheep anymore?
Do you sleep anymore?

I don’t know, and I don’t care if I ever will be there
Will be there

“Stood Up” by A Fine Frenzy

Today, I got some news.

It is good news. But it still scared me. Of COURSE!

Let’s back up a week.

Last Wednesday, the last day of my maternity leave, I decided to squeeze in a routine skin check with the dermatologist. I’m a fair-skinned Swedish-American. It is more than necessary.

The doctor took one look at a mole (which I now refer to as the “sinful mole”) and said, “I do not love that.” She examined it, measured it, reexamined it, measured it again, and decided she would have to punch it out or pop it off or whatever the exact verbage is. And so, she numbed it and removed it and sent it off to a lab to biopsy it, just to make sure.

Today I went in to have the stitches removed and (here comes the good news that still scares me)…

It is not cancerous.

Praise God!!!

It is, however, an atypical cellular blue nevus, and that means the cells were changing. The doctor has to go ‘back in’ and make sure it is all removed, all the way to the surrounding skin outside where the mole was, to the parameters. More stitches. Definitely a scar. No weight training. No fish oil. For the next three weeks or so.

I can still pick up my baby boy, though 😉

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“Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum

*Disclaimer: I do NOT mean to be this dramatic. I’m just feeling all the feels. And it’s my blog, so there.

After two successful days of “full-time-working-momming” it, I had a lovely and restful weekend, totally basking in the glory-warm rays of that success. I did it. I could really DO this!

And then I woke up and today was Monday and everything SUCKED. SUUUUUUUU-UCKED. UGH.

I could list all the things that went wrong, but then you would think I was a whiny baby who didn’t appreciate the joys that accompany the suckiness of being a teacher in an elementary school (overworked, underpaid, but adequately hugged and germy). I could go on about the coffee I didn’t get to drink and the glutenous treats I didn’t indulge in or the class I missed by accident or the child who told me I still looked pregnant. I would then also have to mention the fact that I got a free and DELICIOUS lunch today, and that I pumped 10 oz of milk for my son, which will make up for both of the meals I will miss tomorrow because of stEWpid (code name for ‘work.’) I would need to offset the moments of ‘that sucked’ by also admitting that, for a first time mom who has to go back to work full time, I have it “pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty good.” (Sorry. I’m watching a lot of Curb these days.)

I could go on about all these things, but the point is, and the real reason today SUUUUCKED above all other reasons is, I really just want to be home with my baby. I always have. In all my years playing teacher as a child to studying in college to become one, I never once envisioned myself working full time until retirement. I never fancied myself a ‘career woman.’ I was always going to stay at home with my babies, just like my mama did.

And all I get is 4 hours with him. Four. Hours.

And all day long, while managing the behaviors of hundreds of other peoples’ babies , I could only think of him and all the moments I was missing that were supposed to be ours.

I wanted to run. RUN. Like a bat out of hell. Or a kid out of skEWl (also code name for ‘work’).

Or a 33 year old woman out of her career.

I want to run.

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“Read My Mind” by The Killers

I’m doing it. I’m FINALLY doing it.

I’m going to produce a blog of my own thoughts.

For me.

I’ve always been a creative person. I think by nature, we all are, but some of us have this aching need to create some sort of product that reflects this nature. Our ideas and feelings have to be expressed in some creative and dramatic product or else our souls shrivel up and wither away. Clearly, my creative media is writing. And singing. But you can’t hear me singing this blogpost, so for now, it’s writing.

Wait a minute…. A singing blog.

Ok. That’s an idea I’ll have to tackle later on. So, stay tuned.

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