Little One,

Today, the growth spurt we are dealing with the most is my own. As you tread the space between baby and toddler, I tread the space between understanding and enforcing. I know that very soon it will be very important to set boundaries, be consistent, tell you ‘no’ more often. I almost miss that newborn stage, where nothing you did was malicious or trickery, and ‘giving in’ was no bad thing. But those months are all survival and cocooning, hoping we will make it out alive. Now, it’s just that my choices matter more. My job isn’t only to smother in love and connection. Now, I know that giving in to a tantrum tells you that tantrums are a viable option to get you what you want. Now, the moment my guard is down and I’m in the bathroom crying because it’s just too much is the moment you’re climbing furniture and disassembling lamps and screaming. And I have to get it together, face you with as little emotion as possible, and stick to the rules.

I think this is why the ‘terrible twos’ seem so hard. As you change, our relationship does, too. This is where parenting really sets in. The infant stage was all about me as comfort and provider, now I’m your first experience with boundaries. And though I know your world changes for you every day, I, as an adult, am less malleable. I have a thorough enough understanding of the world to know what not to do, and I have full control over my body, which lets me do the things I intend to. You are curious, have never had boundaries before, have just enough physical capability to get in to trouble, but not enough to do what you want effectively. You get frustrated, I get frustrated.

I hope you know I am trying. Trying to stick to the rules I set. Trying to only set rules that matter. Trying not to show you how hard it is to say ‘no’ a hundred thousand times a day. I hope, at the end of the day, that you will think parenting is easy. Anything but the weak, unsure mother I am. And know that I’m working on giving you just enough structure to find your freedom.





As I can feel this season of change, I’m going to try and document what transformation feels like:

Jan 9

I’m overflowing today. This rise of power and intention in me. Spilling out bad poetry I don’t care to edit yet. Hands that feel in sync, house coming together, joy in the morning, even when my meditations don’t happen. Maybe this is the manic side my mother gave me. I can go back to the editing and the contemplation and the quiet in the next dip. For now, I’m all creation, building altars and lighting flames and walking with purpose. The winter cold is brisk but clean, and I’m nesting this place in preparation for the birth of spring. Something good is coming. I can feel it.

Jan 18

Maybe this change I prayed for is hitting me by surprise. The growing is uncomfortable and the shift seems sudden. That change that is supposed to come to you like a fog rolling in came like the flipping of a switch. Or maybe, more accurately, the fog has been building for months, and I was finally overtaken. It began with a rise, and now, at the peak, I am twitching and achy and angry at a moment’s notice. Tv barely holds my attention, the house cleaning is finished early, and I’m sitting here thinking maybe I should do something. Something that takes the edge off this itch. This lying itch. The part of me that knows I’m somehow not me and that my cup isn’t as full as I thought and my motherhood is evolving and my hands were made for spring.

Jan 29

I can feel this transformation in me. Physically as well as emotionally. It doesn’t feel good yet. It feels itchy and twitchy and achy. A slight tightness in my chest. A restlessness in my heart. Emotions spring up at a moments notice. I cry more. There’s a slight fear with it, too. Fear that I don’t know who I’ll become. Fear that I won’t have the tools to live that truth if I turn out to be someone different. Fear that I chose a tiny, entrenched life that won’t serve me the way I thought it would. I’m trying to meditate more. Meditation that just gives my heart some quiet space. Because even though I’m afraid, I know I don’t want to stop this process. And if I keep giving my soul some space, I trust it will do its thing. It knows what to do. All I have to do is allow it to happen without judgment and then see what needs to change on the outside. I will try to be calm and patient.

Feb 5

I feel more corporeal than I ever have. I can feel the pulse in my wrists, the food in my belly, the follicles moving as I pull my hair up into a ponytail. The side effect of this spiritual awakening seems to be this sensitivity to my physical self. Maybe “side effect” is the wrong phrase. Maybe once I can fully immerse myself in the fact that there is no separateness between spirit and physical, my eyes will be fully open. All of me seems to be stirring. And while we draw closer to the birth of spring, and I know I will emerge, barefoot with ribbons in my hair, now I am trying to listen awhile longer. It’s not quite time to plant yet, so I will give myself some rest. This body and this soul are getting ready together.

The thing I keep remembering from my dreams lately when I meet a wise woman/goddess/spirit guide, is she always says, “Be like water, little one. Be like a river.” I know she must say more than that, but that’s what I always wake up remembering. While I can’t say I fully understand everything that means, I have the sense of flow, of change, of feminine wisdom and divinity. A lack of boundaries, a sense of transformative cycle, the unity of the divine. I don’t know how to embody that fully yet, but the phrase repeats in my head like a mantra that I’ll one day fully realize.

Feb 15

Anxiety. That if I change any more I’ll be alone. That a previous self made this life, and didn’t make it for new me. That I’m risking everything. That I might be an idiot. Reading everything into nothing (but what if it isn’t nothing?). Wanting everything and reaching for all those wants makes me spread too thin. Feeling fragmented. Desperation overcompensating. What if I get everything I ask for and it still isn’t enough? Is the devil I know better? My heart won’t stay in my chest. Just keep talking. Don’t dissolve. Just hold on awhile longer.

Sympathy for the Devil

After a massacre

From a pile of bodies

He emerges

Wearing the body of a dead woman

I know I need to cleanse the space

Make it better

But I know I don’t have enough

If I told the truth

No one would give it to me

So I lie

Give bare minimum details

To a church full of hypocrites

‘A man in need’

The silver starts rolling in

Maybe that’s all the devil is

A man in need

Waiting for someone to paint him

A victim

The sewage runs from his borrowed mouth

And we know damaged people

Damage people

So why can’t we hold that sad child

And give him a mantra

‘I am clean’

Until it’s true


If the Earth laughs in flowers

It laughs in bright sex

At their boldest, carnivorous

Full admission of ravishing

At their softest, white-bloomed beckoning

Quiet moments of asking

For quiet landings

And honey-stained feet

For now, the palest of us wait

In this laughless incubation

Hoping to keep the coals just barely tended

With windowsill houseplants

And notebooks full of garden planning

Telling ourselves this year it will be different

This year we will tend those sprouts daily

Our hands will smell of thyme and earth

Baskets full of bounty will cover our table

And we won’t wait for store-bought bouquets

It won’t be long now

Our roots are patient

Spring always comes

To those who wait


The magic of 3:42am water

The constant baptism of motherhood

A child covered in vomit

Still needs to be held

I’m not above the mess

So we take to the shower

Holding you against me

Letting the water warm

Your tiny, shaking body

Chubby fingers trace the droplets on my chest

“Bubbles,” you murmur

Another trembling breath

Slightly slower

Slightly sweeter


I know, baby

Watching each other exhale

Mirroring each other’s space

The reality of nakedness

Sagging breasts and stretch marks

Covered by the forgiveness of need

Your softness covers a multitude of sins

Those wet eyelashes blinking up at me

While the water blesses us clean


Little One,

When you and I are alone in this sacred littleĀ  house, we are like binary stars, orbiting each other in a sweet, quiet dance. When you go to your room for a while and you get quiet, I say, ‘Butter Bean? What are you up to?” And you run to find me in the kitchen with a book in your hands, saying, “Pleeeaaaasssseee?” When I go to make you lunch and you haven’t seen me in a minute, I hear your little feet heavily plodding over to find me, your hands reaching up for me so you can watch me cook. I look for you, you look for me, we find each other.

When we get tired, we collapse into each other’s perfect softness,. The plushly-upholstered body that made you now holds space for your little body, kissing every little roll and sweet dimple on your knuckles. You find rest in me, and I in you.

The dance gets more complicated when we venture out into the world, and the ideas of others get in the way. Whether that be pantyhose and eyeliner on me, or noise level or personal space rules on you, other things compress what we are. We try not to bother anybody and just wait to be home again in our unpolished warmth.

I don’t think it benefits you much to schedule a bunch of activities or worry that you’re not socialized enough right now. For now, this house is enough for us most of the time, and we fill each other’s cups with learning and affection and play. We feel the ground with our bare feet here, so that when we do slip on our shoes to venture out, we stay warm until we return.

Thank you for being enough and making me feel like enough, too.



Bittersweet Harvest

Sometimes I fear this harvest

Not for me

But for you

The victory garden I planted in my heart

In the bowl of my pelvis

Drops petals from my fingertips

I am my own ecosystem now

But that means the symbiosis

Has become parasitic

Where our half pieces fit together

My wholeness threatens to separate

Flesh rending

Tendons lying limp

Not mine

But yours

We were once one

Now we are one and a half

But I am the one

And you are the pieces

You never planted your own garden

So you lie starving

Drowning in the glow of band-aid screens

While I reap

and miss you