A pocket full of posies,
We all fall down.
This simple nursery rhyme is common knowledge to many Americans. In fact, I doubt there are many mother’s, father’s or children out there who haven’t sang this song while holding hands in a circle with their children at least once. Or probably more like a gazillion times.
I choose to open with this song because the truth is we all do fall down. EVERYONE falls down at one time or another. Whether you are a little kid who tumbles on a playground, a grief-stricken person who lost a loved one, or a mother like me whose body is trying to “get back to normal” after having a baby earlier this year. My point is, we humans all fall down in one way or another. I recently “fell down” in a chemical and hormonal imbalance sort of way.
My mind tried to fight my body, but in the end my body won the battle and told my mind to slow down, breath deep, and let my body heal. Once I took heed of some of the simple necessities (sleep, for one), I was able to think clearly again.
This week I am moving forward and looking ahead in my life. With the unending strength of my husband, parents who were able to set their differences aside and help me, true friends, and my children, who are perhaps the greatest source of inspiration in my life right now, I am recovering as “things” begin to coalesce.
With these words, I am feeling vastly better than I was last week. Family takes care of family. Friends take care of friends. It’s all about give and take in this world and in my time of need, I definitely felt the love surrounding all my rough edges.
Interestingly, I experienced almost the exact same symptoms (sleeplessness & drastic mood swings) I had two years ago after giving birth to Lance as I did this year after giving birth to Vivian. I think my Grandma calculated it and my body and mind “whacked out” within a six-day difference of their birth to when each “episode” occurred. Both occurred just over three months after giving birth. I don’t have the knowledge or the energy to draw too many conclusions other than I have learned I cannot control it and that help is always available when needed. I thank my family, friends, and doctors who helped me get back up.
This time of year is a time of rebirth. I’m a spring baby, born the end of March so I feel it in my blood each spring, this renewal and sense of rebirth. Last Thursday as I was beginning to “zone out” I remember driving across the Union Street Bridge toward home and I happened to notice a Mama goose and six or so little fuzzy, baby geese strutting along side her. I smiled for what it was – a Mama taking care of her young. Then on Sunday during a run, I saw more geese. The Mama goose hissed at me, protecting her young, like all Mama’s do. This time the babies were bigger – growing so fast in only a week’s time. Like the growing baby in my arms and the buds on the trees this time of year begs renewal as we forge on closer to the Summer Solstice and longest day(light) of the year. In my mind I feel as if I am experiencing a “growth” spurt in areas of light and clarity, but I am certainly not the only one around here experiencing growth…
And I’m not the only one who needs to feel unleashed every now and again either. During a hard rain at the beginning of this month I let Lance loose outside while I stood under the porch and snapped away with my camera. I didn’t guide him or prompt him to do any of the things he did in the following pictures, I just let him feel free and wild and uninhibited because that’s how I need to feel every once in a while. [Of course, he had a total meltdown once we went back inside, and I ended all the fun, but I think these pictures will always make me smile.]
Through him I was able to feel some of the things my body and mind needed to feel after having a baby. A woman’s body is truly not her own while carrying or nursing a baby, and once that time period is over, it needs to rebalance itself. I’m only writing from my heart, no parenthetical citations or empirical data here, but I do know I have regained a sense of myself over the last few weeks.
With all that said, the derivative is looking up through the eyes of a child and saying a simple bedtime prayer while living each day with gratitude. The Pioneer Woman (2013) said it best, “As the mother and the wife, I try to remember to step up my prayer life during these times of hard work, long days, and exhaustion. Everybody needs an extra dose of strength, protection, purpose, and perseverance until this figurative storm passes”. Whaddaya know? A citation (aka linking in the blogging world) after all.
Nowadays it’s funny how Lance looks back for verification that I am watching and following him on loops around the neighborhood. As I try to move forward with my own life, a part of me doesn’t want to look back because there is too much right in front of me that I don’t want to miss, yet I know reflecting is important. “Checking” ourselves from time to time is good for the soul. Another one’s of life’s special dichotomies. Look ahead, no looking back vs. making sense of the past.
After a simple observation from a friend who said I looked “sunny” on Tuesday evening (unassumingly wearing a yellow shirt helped) to another good, hard rain last evening where the sun peaked through on all the new life and green grass surrounding us, I felt again more clarity… and alas, another good friend and a double rainbow appeared to remind me of this beautiful life we are living.
As a young writing-crazed Mother, I still haven’t finalized my Best Seller on all of this (hardy har har!) yet, but each day I’m getting closer to making sense of the pieces of my life and writing and sharing my perspective. Maybe one day I’ll delve into some of the deeper issues within, but for today, I’m more than just a mom who likes to write. I’m stronger, braver, and more empowered than I was last week and the week before that. Although I couldn’t control “it,” which is hard for someone like me who likes to keep life flowing in order and a stream-lined direction, I’ve learned from my experience.
I’m going on 19 weeks postpartum (and Vivian is going on 19 weeks old, however you want to look at it), and all I can say is this: I hope more women begin to speak out and talk about what they experience postpartum. I’ve used quotation marks and a pretty cryptic description of what I went through, but in time I know I’ll be able to synthesize my observations, theories, and thoughts on this topic. (Or not, because I’d be lying if I didn’t say that some of my problems stem from other issues, some of which I’d like to forget). Either way, my friend Allison reminded me of the age-old adage – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Ring-a-round a rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
We all fall down.
If I could add on to this little ditty, I would ideally speak about getting back up. Because although I recently “fell down” in life just like the water falling over a dam along The Dan River that I notice every time I drive across the Union Street Bridge, the fall has lead me to more beautiful, calmer place of unknown peace I never knew existed. Even though at times it feels like the gazillionth time I’ve pulled strength from within to get back up, I am better for having endured the challenge. So just like small children who play and sing ring-a-round a rosie holding ends, at the end of this song and in life I always brush off, as I tell Lance, and get back up and keep playing again and again and again…
Make each day better than the last, Friends.
The Banter Lady
Editor’s Note: This essay is dedicated to Rosie, the daughter of a good friend. Although I’m yet to meet her in person, I have a feeling she’s pretty neat.