The Mother's Almanac: November
Daily moments captured by a new mother.
STEMS: Nov. 4
I received these flowers as a token of appreciation from my husband a few evenings ago. He purchased two types of flowers that I could arrange into bouquets myself, and I enjoyed spending the time after my baby went to sleep to trim their stems and carefully split them into vases as artfully as I could. The thought has crossed my mind to become a floral arranger one day; the thought has crossed my mind to become many things: gardener, counselor, teacher of children, designer. But I am already those things, or will be to come. I am a mother.
It still feels odd to say that out loud, or write it, I am a mother. But I feel it to be true when I rock my baby to sleep. I feel like a mother when I am the Answer of Questions, when my own mother asks me what to do with such-and-such worry about my son. He woke up screaming, she says, and I know just how to handle it. Rock him. Hold him upright. He has reflux, his throat burns and he needs soothing. Did you give him his medicine? I remember how that felt when I was pregnant, so I feel especially empathetic to him. We are connected.
I have struggled to find my honest voice in the clamor of mothers’ voices, but every day I can whisper louder, and stronger. One day I will not whisper but shout, I am a mother.
I am a Mother.
TOYS: Nov. 5
You can practically watch my son’s brain develop every day. Lately, it’s been when he reaches for toys. If you hold a toy over him while he lays on his back, on the bed or a blanket on the floor, both of his hands slowly glide towards it in one smooth, symmetrical motion. His arms look like orbiting satellites, and not like the jerky, flailing movements they used to exhibit. He is so proud when his hands reach their destination, and he will immediately place the toy in his mouth, and give me a satisfactory eyebrow wiggle.
He doesn’t mind tummy time anymore. He used to strain and grunt and plead to be fixed if I set him down on his tummy. Now he holds his head up high, taking in the world around him. This gives me, as his mama, an extraordinary amount of pride and a tinge of sadness. Soon he’ll be crawling. My little boy.
I don’t think I expected to feel this way as a mother. I don’t know what I expected, but I’m full of joy and fulfillment, and every tired morning when he smiles at me it swells up inside.
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Featured photograph by Hilary Bovay. Content photographs by Megan Kuhar. All Rights Reserved.
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