I turned the corner west, towards the mountains, and took a deep breath as the winter sun tried to stay awake, barely past five. With white capped ridges in the distance, I turned the car to crunch over the layers of snow, fallen over the last few days. I parked, and with the door closing behind me, walked into a warm house where my baby had been cared for for the last six months.
We’re transitioning her to a new place of care this week, and with yesterday’s last pick-up, I was feeling heavy. My feet shuffled reluctantly out of their home, and as baby’s carseat clicked into place, I told her that we just went through our first care transition with her.
I’m not fearful for where she’s heading next; it’s sure to be delightful. However, the lingering weight came more from a place of longing for days I wished away. At three months old, I could barely care for her and myself. Since, she’s grown, and I’ve grown.
I’m surprised how quickly this next chapter approached. We’re all bathing regularly now. Baby is almost ready to crawl. She’s moving into full time care outside of our home!
I, too, am crawling towards something new.
As my birthday approached and I realized while yes, I am aging, so is my mother, and my in-laws, my husband, and my baby too. Marching towards the inevitable, some people call it. Others call it living.
This January has been cold. Hibernating looks different than last year. I find myself in bed earlier, with warm socks on my feet and hands tucked into sloppy sleeves of old sweatshirts. I float in flannel sheets, holding space for the new me that’s emerging. While Covid is still present, my panic around prevention has dissipated. Not all transitions need to be chaotic or fearful.
I let the embers of awakening warm me.
To be in the middle now, with only one parental layer above me, and now a generation to care for below, brings a buoyancy of a different kind. This floating in the middle feels ladened with responsibility. Motherhood is teaching me to receive with grace, and to hold tightly to the people with whom I get to age. I am caretaker now, in a different capacity, and I’m also learning to be cared for differently.
I let the vacillating wishes of time to move faster mix with wishes of longing to grow. I wonder about what’s coming next, while staring in awe, at the little creature we’re responsible for as witness to how quickly things shift.
We walked through another transition, yes, and I’ve found time to breathe before bed. Living. Beautiful, heartwarming things.