You guys! The coolest thing just happened. And I’m one of those people. The kind who think that things don’t just happen. Maybe it’s because I was an English major and have been trained to look for the symbolism and theme in everything. Or maybe it’s because I believe in God, in the Universe, in a Collective Consciousness, in a Being that is beyond me. Either way, I believe that events and strange happenings, chance encounters & serendipitous stumblings have MEANING. That things happen for a reason.
And something happened yesterday. Well, a couple things.
First, I woke up to Aunt Flo. The first visit since I’ve had this little bundle of energy, poo, drool, love & JOY. That means a number of things:
1. The return of my moon. Return of monthly shedding cycle–releasing what isn’t needed. The gravity of being a girl.
2. Groan, mess, & haphazard, unshowered trip to Target first thing upon waking for supplies.
3. Mental conversation about family planning/birth control.
4. Google searches for breastfeeding and monthly cycles.
5. The forgetting of chocolate in pre-caffeinated trip to Target for supplies. What was I thinking?! It doesn’t matter, because it led to an afternoon trip to Whole Foods where this really cool, amazing thing happened.
“How old is your baby?” he said.
“5 months old” (I’ll post about this later!).
“He’s beautiful. What a healthy,strong boy. Babies like that always remind me of my mother. She was a midwife.”
” We were under the care of midwives!”
“You should look her up, my mother. She was amazing. Her last name as Aragon,” he said while digging his Driver’s License out of his wallet to show me how to spell his last name. “This was in New Mexico. She was amazing, my mother.”
“What was her first name?” I asked, both touched and amused by how proud this man was of his mother.
“Jessie. Well, we called her Jessie. Her name was Jesusita. You should have seen her office. There were hundreds of—-“
“Pictures of all the babies she delivered?” I finished his sentence, picturing my own midwives’ office. And exhibiting one of my worst qualities.
“No–Awards! She met President Clinton’s wife. You should look her up. Remember the name.”
We chatted a bit more–about his own sons who had died–one in Iraq and one in a motorcycle accident. About his faith in Jesus. About how seeing babies like mine gave him a bright hope, that we had blessed him with our presence. I thanked him for sharing, and he thanked us for listening–for our being there.
And then I went home. I googled Jesusita Aragon, Midwife, New Mexico. You Guys. Holy Wow. I found this:
There was more. I read as much as I could find in bursts throughout the evening. Insane. Her inspiring life. I wished I would have gotten his contact information. Hungry to learn more about what it was like for him to grow up with his mother, I long to hear more. But I didn’t. Maybe serendipity will strike again and I will see him again. Maybe not.
But what does it all mean?! I keep thinking about this too. Here’s what I have so far.
1. I have spent the last couple days super frustrated. My little boy is actually sick with his 3rd cold–in 5 months. And I hate when he’s sick. More than anything! Our neighbor’s 5.5 month old has his first cold. My sister’s son didn’t get his first cold until 6 or 7 months. Both of those boys were/are bottle fed. I’ve spent countless hours breastfeeding on demand. I don’t eat dairy or soy. I eat organic. I make my own freaking deoderant to avoid chemicals leeching in to my breastmilk. I take Vitamin D, a good probiotic, DHA. I eat loads of greens and a rainbow of produce every single day. And despite all this, my little one has been sick more than the formula fed babies I know. It makes me want to throw up my exhausted hands in resignation. Makes me want to question my beliefs about all of my holistic, natural health practices. This is in no way meant to make mothers who bottle feed feel bad–WE ALL ARE DOING THE BEST WE CAN! And, heck, the bottle fed babies in my life are sick less than my son. But I want to believe that chemicals are not good.I want to believe that these HARD choices I keep making are worth it. And I can’t help but long for a more natural life. And on a day when I am most questioning my hippie lifestyle choices, I run into the son of a powerful midwife-healer. A sign?! Don’t give up. Follow your beliefs thoroughly as you can along this sleep-deprived path Keri.
2. I want my son to be proud of me. I’m not a midwife. I didn’t finish Ayurveda school. I’m not using any of my multiple degrees or certifications. I’m not Teacher of the Year anymore. I’m a mom. A stay at home mom. A mom who started this blog post yesterday and couldn’t get her shit together enough to finish the post until today. A mom who is giving her completely imperfect everything to her little one 24 hours a day, every damn day. This mother must have done both–mothered and worked, and not only worked, but worked miracles. I’m no miracle worker, this much I know. But I can do more, and I WANT to do and BE more for me and my son. I want my son to speak of my with love in his heart and pride in his eyes for the woman his mother was.
3. Since having Easton, my prayer life has been sporadic at best. The most consistent prayer I utter is Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you God for the insane gift of this little guy. I can’t even understand how much I love him. I say this prayer daily, but I’ve been feeling like the busy-ness and tired-ness of this new life has eclipsed part of my old life. An important part. Gratitude is great. But I need to make space for self reflection and silence. So that I can figure out what it all means. What am I to do and be–for me and for my husband and son. So that I can hear the voice of God in whatever stillness and silence I can grab and go forward on the path made for me with grace and humility.
4. Am I missing anything? Any outsider’s perspective more sane and less sleep-deprived than mine?
5. Isn’t this woman’s story crazy amazing?!