Well, it’s official. I can’t bend forward…not really even a little. It’s funny and ironic to me on a day when motherhood required more bending and stretching than normal (in both literal and figurative ways).
I’m currently trying to adjust to fall life while summer is still very much a thing–the hot, muggy weather feels nothing like fall, but school buses and overheard conversations everywhere make the impending season seem pretty official. I feel like I’m diving head first into the adjustment period from breezy summer to first-time homeschooling mama, and then there’s the belly, always providing quite the good and necessary distraction, too. It’s a time I’ll look back on with fondness, and also completely new territory for me on every level.
37 weeks pregnant, first time with a kindergartener, a new preschooler eager to have her own gig going, homeschooling, new fall extracurricular activities, and a handful of other changes hanging out there to add some color into the mix=a whole lot of bending and stretching going on.
This morning at Eloise’s first ballet class of the school year, we went from super excited and showing off our pink everything to sobbing and clinging to mom. This is her second year in ballet (and at the same school), so I was a little shocked to find myself trying to talk our three year old off the ledge. She’s pretty independent, but wasn’t feeling that way in the moment. And when I asked her what made her not want to do ballet today, she said matter of factly, “God. God told me that.” Who can argue?
I wouldn’t have minded, but the sitting and bending and reaching that transpired in prep for ballet class this morning was substantial for me. Battling those ballet tights into submission and wrangling a perfect tiny bun were big achievements as we prepped to leave, but for naught. Big brother even tried to encourage and convince our wee ballerina that she should give class a go, but to no avail. We’ll try again next week, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that she’ll once again warm up to an activity that she has loved before.
Thank goodness for gracious mamas who were so encouraging to her (and to me) as we navigated the decision to leave the studio before class was over. Some days, we’re just three and need to make decisions for ourselves. There’s such goodness in being surrounded by moms who are also balancing the dynamics of three year old girls right now. Truly.
Post-ballet drama, it seemed like things were just ordered in a tricky way all day long. We bounced from ballet to one doctors appointment and then another, followed by some interesting dynamics at home and then Henry’s new gig in martial arts tonight before dinner. I know this is all run of the mill, but it’s totally new to me. It’s amazing how watching your eldest morph from a little person into a young man before your eyes can bring on all of the emotions. Throw in the end of pregnancy, and I really do mean ALL of the emotions.
By dinner and bedtime lately, I am just absolutely spent. Ask anyone in the house. Mama is frayed and ready to have space and make space and be mostly alone. This is entirely a circumstantial thing for me, and not my usual M.O. All I can say is, the physical ups and downs of the bedtime routine put me right into a “I feel like I could probably throw myself into labor tonight” zone that has alarmed me more than once this week. You never know when it will be the real thing, right?
I hope to have a hunch, but this babe and this pregnancy have been most unpredictable throughout. I have little idea of what to expect, except to say that I will be shocked to go three more full weeks without meeting this baby. If my patience, physical energy and emotional capacity were any indication today, this babe will join us at the tipping point between summer and fall, and no later. Won’t it be fun to see if I’m on target with my instincts this time?
There’s still more to do before I feel like I can just let my hair down and think, “Yep, we’re all set to go!” But we’re making great progress, and at least now I have a pile of things to pack in a bag for the hospital, where a week ago they were scattered in bins and boxes and still arriving in the mail. Maybe the hospital check list would be good to add to the agenda for this weekend, just so no one is scrambling trying to find my maternity yoga pants, the exact right baby clothes for boy or girl, and the few items I just don’t want to be without when labor makes itself known.
One thing at a time, and soon enough I’ll be bending over this belly again in awe. Change happens so fast, and the process is really quite perfect. My bending and stretching woes are exactly representative of the amount I’m learning to bend and stretch in every way beyond physical right now. Mostly, I’m happy to make the connection and to embrace it as part of the adventure.
Without a doubt, pregnancy is an exercise of the mind and spirit, not just the body. What a great privilege!
loving this path we wander,