A Prayer for the Home

Mezuzah in Kauai

Mezuzah in Kauai (c) Open Hearted

I became Jewish in the spring of this year.  I’m not an overtly religious person, but I enjoy the spiritual comfort of finding home in a religious framework.  I’d grown up without one and started exploring Judaism after I met my husband.  H is not particularly religious either, but considers himself without a doubt Jewish.

One of my favorite Jewish traditions is the mezuzah a little bit of parchment with prayers written upon it, wrapped up tight inside a small box hung on the doorpost of Jewish homes.  I always feel comforted when I walk by ours, reminded that our home is a blessed one.

The first thing I noticed about this little cottage we’re staying in, in Kauai, was the mezuzah at the door post.  One glance made me feel connected to the people who owned this home and the place.  The words were quite fitting too: “May this home be blessed with peace and tranquility.”

That is exactly what we have found here.

Melt Down – Week 6

Well the first week of pregnancy was all joy and excitement and perfect physical condition. No symptoms I thought to myself my body is totally made for this I got this, no sweat.  This week I’m having more of a melt down. The fact that our house is in complete chaos because we’re moving has left my head spinning.  I can’t quite catch my breath.  That coupled with the fact that morning sickness kicked in today was enough to send me into a small melt down.

The hormones they are raging today. I’m tired.  I’m nauseated and I’m scared.  I’m scared about being a mom as much as I’m excited about it. Will I be any good at it? What will it look like? What will our life be like?  So many questions and no idea what the answers might be.

Part of me feels like I’m going to be all consumed by having a baby and become a parent instead of a person.  Another part of me fears that my husband won’t be able to give me the support that I need, or that I’ll need too much.  Not to mention, I don’t have a strong support system of friends here. I have friends I can call and keep in touch with, and who knows maybe this experience will bring me closer to other moms.

I felt so good, so light last week on the joy of finding out I had a little soul holding on to me. I convinced myself, alright, this is going to be easy sailing. I got this no worries.  Even at the relief I felt knowing that I can do this, the little voice in the back of my head said, “this feeling too shall pass.” Well it’s always a Godsend when I’m going through a tough time, but it’s harder having to remember that the highs are also impermanent.

At some level I’m thankful I touched the joy in a way I haven’t in a really long time.  Yes it’s true though.  Those feelings passed, but I feel the current anxiety and fear that swept me away this evening dissipating too.  I think this is also passing.  Accepting where I am – will probably always be one of my greatest challenges.

Sometimes I really wish I had a best friend. Someone whose house I could invite myself over to for a cup of tea and to talk.  Maybe after her kids were asleep or in bed.  A place to cry and grumble about our husbands and laugh with each other. Another woman to understand and empathize.  I’m confident that I’ll find the friendship I’m looking for some day.  Though, there’s no magic trick.  Finding that sort of friendship won’t make all my anxieties and fears disappear.  It might help me wade through it more easily.  For now though, it’s up to me to meet my own needs, stay present, and not get too swept up in waves of feelings.

Originally written the week of July 9.

We Loooove the Babies – Week 5

Though I’m married, and at an “acceptable” age to have kids, whatever that means, I’ve neither heard my biological clock ticking, nor have I had an inexplicable urge to snatch a baby from the nearest stroller to snuggle him in my arms and smell his head.

I’ve always wanted children and so has the husband, but the when part was very hazy.  Anytime I saw a movie or read anything about a woman giving birth I went into a complete tail spin.  Hard to breathe, thinking: “Ah do they really stitch your private parts up, for real? No thank you.  MmmMmm not happening until they figure out pain-free child labor.”

Then a bit sooner than we expected, we were blessed with a baby.  I’m officially five weeks pregnant. We’re excited and overwhelmed and experiencing a whole bucket load of emotions.  BUT, my hormones have turned me into The Dude, Jeffrey Lebowski.  I just kind of go with what comes along now.  My brain used to freak out at the thought of giving birth.  The hormones are a really powerful, really good drug though. Now every time I  think, “Ah I’m having a kid!” and what that means, I get to the verge of panicking. Then, “Hey, hey you. Remember? You looovee the babies,” this new voice says to me, sounding mysteriously like Barry White (huh?). “Oh… right, yeah, I love the babies. But, but, but… “No you reallly loove the babies.” “Oh yeah, I really do love the babies.  Guys, guys! I really love the babies! Child birth, it’s cool. I’m cool, I got this.”

Everything feels fine, everything  feels easy.  It’s like I’ve hypnotized myself, or the baby-growing hormones have completely and totally taken over.  My body keeps saying, “I got this we’re good. It’s all good baby.” My hormones are making me feel in balance and awesome all the frigging time and I loveses it. Of course I don’t expect this to last more than five minutes. I know there will be lots and lots of ups and downs over the course of the next nine months or so.

Tonight, though, I was cooking dinner and It’s Hip to Be Square came on my iPod. What can I say I’m a sucker for 80s music.  I felt this little rush of joy dancing around the kitchen, and I had this sense that I wasn’t alone.  I was dancing with my new little one, sharing a little secret with him or her that’s it’s cool to shake your booty, just smile, and enjoy.  So thanks little one, for picking us. We can’t wait for you to join us out here.  I already feel your little soul hanging around and I know this is going to be one awesome adventure.

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I debated for a while whether to post about having a baby.  I decided that I love writing here because I write about whatever I want. So here it is.  I wrote this entry on July 2 and will be posting a few other backlogged posts this week.