Suffering from only my second period since getting pregnant, and the sleeplessness of a baby not only sleepless but teething, I sent zi over my my mother for the night. This was only the second time I did so. The first was for stone’s birthday and he kinda expected it. This time, you know I was at the end of my end for me to send my baby away. Of course, as stone put her in the car seat i started to miss her. she hadn’t even left the driveway.
then i was left alone for one of the few times since she was born, in wonderment at how you can live on the same planet but in a totally different dimension, moving around in all the same spaces but with totally different meanings, after a child has come, filled your life and taken over your home. even being alone isn’t the same anymore.
i got to finish off my friend elspeth’s lovely little book, daisy chain (yaay spec!) and fell asleep expecting to wake at 10am like i used to on a saturday. eh heh. 1.30. 3.30. 5.30. 7.30am. yuh gyul waking up. for no reason, except routine. my friend michelle, daughter of 4 year old leah, said to me that she gets up in the night even now that leah doesn’t. i hadn’t even realised that that happens. eventually a kind of used-to-being-responsible-at-all-hours insomnia can set in. who knew? i didn’t feel so bad though. my body was clearly coping at some level with the demands it is dealing with if its ready to be on call at all hours. the nice thing was going to the beach this morning without having to worry about it being too sunny for Zi or too rainy or carrying everything she might need. i walked with a towel. that was it. i felt like a teenager. and it was great to go out without having to be responsible for her or leave her with stone, wondering if he’s going to look like he survived both world wars when i get home.
thank goddess for my mother. grandmothers! you can’t live with them. you can’t live without them. she knew that i hardly ask for anyone to take care of Zi when it is supposed to be me. looking after her at the times that i am able and supposed to is something i am very conscientious about. Zi is responsibility i dont expect anyone to have to take on for me and i’ve insisted on doing the majority of everything for her myself. but, for a mother, an extended family can make all the difference. at least you know when she’s not with you, you haven’t left her with a babysitter. my mother is only too glad to be needed, and Zi’s coming has given her new meaning and filled the house, where she lives alone, with fresh life.
i’ve really had a sense of life stages since having Zi. there were 36 years of complete freedom before, almost two decades of responsibility ahead and then there will be this freedom again, but it will be different. Even as i’ll be wandering around the house alone in the far future, as i used to before she came, Zi’s spirit will be ricocheting around me, making being alone a new place to define after so much devotion of self, constant relationship and care. its funny how you make a shift and can’t go back to who you were. and who you were can seem a long time ago, even if its not, and not just because you’ve been up so much that a lot of time seems to have passed between then and now.
still, i’m sitting here in the house where I hardly ever am without Zi. and i see how everything has changed. my time, my sleep, my relationship with stone, my understanding of my mother, my desire for time to myself, my responsibilities to everyone around me. and i’d clearly miss this new reality even if i could get back some time or solitude or autonomy. just like, here now, when i have to think hard about what to do other than get over-excited about her coming back home. i’ve clearly become a mummy.