Greetings, Poetry Lovers!
Things couldn't be much more exciting these days for my little family. You might know that our oldest, Morgan (the third-grade-teacher-daughter) and her wonderful hubby Matt are about to welcome a baby boy into the world. He's due at the beginning of June, but is evidently already a good-sized wee thing, so I'm getting my bags packed and we're all on baby-watch. I've got to finish up a few work items and try to get our house here in a bit of order; I'll invoke my inner Mary Poppins this weekend. (Wish I had her magic and that big hide-away bag, though.) The gas tank is filled!
This baby has been a long time coming, with disappointment and tears along the path. And so as we anticipate joy, we all recognize that heartache, loss, and emptiness are with so many parents and would-be parents, and I don't pretend to understand the whys of all that. I just feel humbled and grateful and try to be mindful of all the varied stories that swirl around at once in this world. And I pray for us all.
How lucky I've been to go to a couple of the baby showers this spring, and to watch Morgan and Matt transform a second bedroom into a cozy, happy nursery in recent months. Their devoted lab Maggie is ready for her new family duties. She's been resting her head on Morgan's belly on the couch for a while now.
Of course, I've been transported to my own memories of early motherhood. We were fortunate to live in a neighborhood with several other new parents. None of us had family close by, so we became each other's support systems, playground partners, and lifelong friends.
I was pretty much a hippie-ish-earth-mommy type, forever thankful to be able to be at home with my children and nursing them both until they were toddlers. (La Leche League is still going strong, by the way!) We subscribed more to the "attachment parenting" way of nurturing our little ones rather than strict schedules.
I wonder if any of you in my same demographic knew about a group called "Mothers at Home" – a grassroots family advocacy group, run by women, which produced the most wonderful small journal, Welcome Home? (They included poetry in each issue, and once published an anthology called Motherhood – Journey Into Love.)
I used to anticipate the journal's arrival each month, and it fed my soul. I'm thankful my introduction to parenthood occurred during the 22-year span in which they published it. I still have some copies. Unfortunately, I can't put my finger on the copy with a poem of mine in it.… it is somewhere, but that was a long time ago and we've moved and moved and moved again since then.
Fragments of the poem drift back to me, so I'll share those. I would have written this when Morgan was four and Seth was one, or thereabouts. Maybe it's appropriate, with the passage of time and the passing of the parenting baton, that I have only snatches of sweet and bittersweet memories, the warm and cherished parts that transcend time.
Here's what I remember of the poem, now that I'm 26 years older than when I wrote it, and much more gray:
I am going gray -
growing soft and saggy
feeling much older than
thirty-three rotations around the sun.
[And then there was some middle part? I have no idea what it said, but it transitioned to a reference to my children, and the poem ended like this:]
… my children.
They think me beautiful,
a mother flowing with milk and honey.
White milk and glistening honey.
©Robyn Hood Black – I'll find the whole poem eventually!
Somewhere along the way, Mothers at Home became more inclusive and became known as Family & Home Network®. I appreciate the widening of the net, but I must confess the poet in me loved the simplicity and coziness of their original name. They continue to do important advocacy and policy work, which you can tap into here. Their tagline is "Helping families spend generous amounts of time together."
So, looks like I'll be taking a bit of a blog break for a few weeks; maybe I can catch up on reading everyone else's. Here's to generation after generation, and poetry in each one. Rose at Imagine the Possibilities has our Roundup this week. Thank you, Rose!