Note for a Baby

Dear Cyril[la]:

Things are going pretty well, I think, for you and I. It’s hard to tell, with the way you flee from ultrasound and doppler, but you’re in there, and you’re healthy. An anterior placenta makes it awfully tricky, but I think I can tell the difference between your little prods and a bit of underdone potato. Tomorrow after class we will toodle down to Magee and take a look at your nether regions, and should you cooperate, finally remove the brackets from your nickname.

I expected pregnancy – one that lasted more than eight weeks – to change me. And it has. Largely in way I’ve expected. My increasing girth took a little getting used to, but I’m learning to enjoy it. I wear my new maternity blouses with pride, and experience great relief from maternity pants. (I’d almost forgotten what freedom of waist movement was like.)

There are things that are odd, awkward, or difficult, but I mostly expected those too. I don’t really know how to respond to people who comment on your bump. At least not without seeming patronizing, or like a jerk. “Yes, it’s growing; that’s kinda what they do!” Or to people who feel constantly compelled to ask how I’m doing: “I feel fine, thanks; how are you?” I’m not sick of it, and I guess I ask pregnant women that too. I figured other people were more creative than me. I’ll just have to come up with more interesting responses.

But here’s the weird bit: the biggest changes in my life of late have had to do with you only peripherally. Things like learning the next step of confronting my ghosts. Layers of fear dropping off in my interactions with others. Being willing to ask hard questions, bluster, and be wrong, in the pursuit of relationships that are actually worth something. These things are a force that is changing my life. Your presence makes this prospect (which is really just the next bit of growing up) a little more compelling, but I don’t think you’re the driving force in the equation.

I have a need, deep in my personality, to constantly try new things and experiences. Most of my adult life, I’ve been too neurotic and fearful to really engage that fully. Enter knitting: a small, controlled system where you can both try new things all the time and see them completed. I can experiment with stitches, small homemaking projects, canning, etc., with relatively little threat to my inner being. I think that’s why blogging here became so important to me – it was a bottlenecked outlet for something I was too afraid to let out in less controlled or more important circumstances.

But now, people and relationships are interesting, and I’m less afraid to try them. I’m learning how to put work into them, to add rows to a friendship, so to speak. It’s about as fast as making your first sweater out of fingering weight, but every little bit of progress feels like a victory.

And I think the freedom to do those things more has made my need to knit lessen.

This is fairly disturbing to me. I love knitting, and I have a fairly prodigious pile of commissions to get through before Christmas, not to mention a barely-wrangled stash that I’d like to knit through at some point in my life. What’s more, I love writing! If knitting and blogging about it is just filling an emotional need that is now being filled elsewhere, am I going to have to watch this hobby I love drift off into the sunset?

I don’t have the answer to that question. I try not to worry about it. Having one love balanced with another, especially in the name of whole-person health, is nothing but a good thing.

Because that’s what this blog has been, up to this point. It has been a catalogue of my love affair with wool. I’ve journeyed with my faithful readers through experiments in design and dyeing to a full-fledged cottage business, complete with taxes and advertising. I’ve learned to design and publish, to spin, and to dye, and to knit almost anything you can think of.

My love of making things isn’t going anywhere. But I think they will move from this intense love affair to the position of best friend, a handmaiden to other parts of my calling that are coming to the forefront. Now, I get to fall in love with the people God sends into my life, and with serving them, nudging them towards wholeness in Christ. I get to work on my relationship with my husband in new ways as we continue our slow trek towards health. And it’s about time I fell in love again with my First Love.

And I get to fall in love with you, wee Cyril[la]. You tiny little mango-sized human with an overgrown head and a promising left hook. You get to change everything, without even trying.

I’m looking forward to it. I can’t help the small feeling of regret that comes from letting a hobby that’s given me so much slide to a lower place on the priority list, but anyone who knows me will know this is probably a good thing. It’s just a little more balance. I’ll adjust. And I know I’ll find new things to write about.

2 thoughts on “Note for a Baby

  1. I often have a dozen reactions to what you write, my dear. And I have to pick just one thing to say that is appropriate for this blog. Over the years, it’s been very fun to watch you choose things to explore; mostly it has been easy to jump in there and support you. (The hardest thing was when Internet friendships became so compelling…..I never knew how to cope with that.) But I loved watching you explore crafts, soccer, ice skating, karate, school, and knitting.

    What have I learned having children?
    1) Fear of losing them or of something happening to them is so huge that I would drown in that if I didn’t hugely lean on Jesus. It’s almost that intense with Cyril(la) now. Therefore I learned to lean on Jesus in a deeper way.
    2) I learned to believe in myself more, because one can only listen to advise and read about “what is best” for so long. At some point, with this life that is entrusted to me, I’ve got to make decisions I can live with.
    3) I learned to submit to the things about parenting I did not like. Some thing are fun; others are not. Unfortunately in order to be a decent parent, one has to do both.
    4) It took years, but I did eventually learn to take a back seat to others. Seeing my children bloom has helped to realize that I am NOT the center of the universe, and it’s really OK to just be ordinary.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s