Little One,

Some days, you reveal me to myself. Last night, you had trouble settling down after having guests for dinner. And when I took you in my lap and looked at you, I began to breathe. Deeply, slowly, loud enough for you to hear. I kept telling you, “Take a big breath. Just like Mama. Good! What a beautiful breath!” You would get distracted, of course, but I kept breathing those slow, deliberate inhales and rejoiced when you followed me again.

My mind is not much different. The meditation time that is supposed to be focused on that breath continues to be derailed by the world around me and the rambling of my anxious mind. I have the same amount of control as you do some days. Trying to coax a toddler into deep breathing is about the same as settling an adult mind into meditation. Every time we circle back to focus is a victory. I am just like you.

And in seeing this similarity, I thought back to a time where I heard the advice, “Treat yourself like a toddler.” I think I fully agree with that now. In the age where terms like “self care” have come to mean “self indulgence”, we forget the wisdom of toddlers. When a toddler is cranky, we as mothers go through the list of things that they might need: healthy food, sleep, water, exercise, human connection. But we seldom do this for ourselves. We have been told, “You deserve a break,” or “Treat yourself,” and we run to the vices that fill our voids. We have an extra drink, an extra doughnut, go to bed without a shower, stay in when you know it’s better to get a little sun on our weary bones. And when we feel guilty, we say mantras to ourselves that we hear other mothers say; “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” “Self care is not selfish,” “I love myself.”

But if you really loved yourself, loved yourself like you love your toddler, wouldn’t you want what’s best for you? When your toddler wants to stay up all night and watch Netflix, do you say, “I love you so much that I’ll let you do anything you like.”? No. You say, “I love you so much that I want you to be healthy. You won’t feel good tomorrow if you don’t sleep. So, even though you hate bedtime, it’s time to rest. Because I love you.” The same love and care should apply to me as it does to you, little one.

Thank you for letting me learn from watching you, sweet baby. I only hope I’m smart enough to learn enough to make us both better.

I love you,



You learned the word “home”
And I don’t know what you think it means
When I tell you “we’re home”
Or you are
Do you know what I mean?
This place we put down roots
And the walls smell like curry
Or that you are where my heart lives
Both are true, I suppose
When you wake up on my chest
And blink up at me, saying,
“Mama. Home?”
All the answers are yes.


Her days have nothing to begin for
The quiet of that too-roomy house
An unsuitable filler of the void
“Will you stay for dinner?
Will you stay?”
She asks ones who have outgrown her
Pity her
Leave her to her nonsense
Unable to prioritize
Swallowing anything in reach
But not standing up
To search for meaning
That atrophied spirit
Melting into the infirmary bed
She waits until we forget



Take my picture
When the light is low
My hair waves upon the pillow
Babe in my heavy arms

Watch the sway of my hips
In that oversized bathrobe
Sipping coffee
Chopping herbs
Listening to the vapor of your breath
Catch in your warm throat

Sit with me
While I read in a low voice
Messy hair and acoustic guitar adornment
Slow, sweet company

To the men who have loved me
Paint me in your tender hands
And think me soft enough
The way I am


Moon Baby

Little One,
There is a big thunderstorm over our heads. It is Sunday not-quite morning, the three of us curled up safe and warm beneath the sheets. You sleep between your father and I, your softness outstretched like a starfish to reach us both. But, most often, you are your father’s at night. You cling to him, gently (sometimes not so gently) moving into his space. Though I envy those sweet snuggles some days, I know they have always belonged to him. When you were in my womb, you always wiggled your unfinished form towards him when we would lie down to sleep. And, in any case, you get me all day, and I know your heart wants that safe Papa space when you rest.
Night has become the time when I regain my personhood, having been touched all day by your impossibly sweet, clumsy little hands. Your father gets up with you when he needs to, though it’s not often that you keep us up at night very much anymore. And I lie next to you, sleeping on my belly, clutching my pillow, on my less-than-half of the bed. My space. Me. Recharging so that when your Papa leaves for work in the morning, my skin doesn’t ache from being attached too long.
Tonight is the full moon, and you have felt its restlessness, a tiny wave of that energy your mother has always felt coming back to kiss her shore. That is how the moon, the ocean of light, loves us. You decided to come into the world on a full moon night. It was a rare ‘pink moon’ that night. Maybe that is why you always try to stay up all night when the moon gets full. That restlessness that brought you out into the world makes its way back to you again and again. And as the sun struggles to rise behind the thunderstorm, you have been lulled back into the arms of sleep, occasionally moving an arm or a leg in drowsy protest, carving out the safe space between your parents.
I love you, moon baby.