Sunday, September 07, 2008

Deep Thoughts by KWAP

Am I betraying my age by referencing Deep Thoughts? I haven't even watched SNL in *years*, do they still do them? Ah, the past.

It's the end of summer. School starts up for us this week (two kids in preschool! Sadly, they never overlap.). We just had DS1's birthday party yesterday, he turned FIVE. DS2 is 3 and 1/3. DD is almost 4 months. Where is the time going? How did it come to be that I have three kids? And a minivan.

I feel like there's a way in which I've lost track of some things...some parts of myself. That's not surprising, considering that I've not gotten more than 4 consecutive hours of sleep in a few months (and considered it amazing to get more than an hour and half). I've got three kids, two cats, one husband, a life that's very focused on the home and hearth right now.

When I started this blog, almost two years ago, I was in the midst of a huge transition. The two women that had been my closest friends through the first part of learning to be a mother (particularly, learning to be a stay-at-home-mom) had dumped me. I still don't understand why. Was it something I did? Something I should have done? I loved those women and relied on them, too much probably, but they were almost like family to me. In most ways, the pain has ebbed, but it was a *huge* loss. Not just for me, but for DS1 too - these kids were almost like siblings to him. When DS2 came along, it apparently threw the whole system into disarray, and since I was the one who disrupted it, I was the one who was ousted (I guess, neither one ever said anything clear to me, one just got really mean, and the other just faded, and didn't choose me).

I was looking for things to fill me up, and one of the things I found was knitting, particularly the knitting for donation. I made baby hats for the NICU at Children's Hospital in Boston. This was the NICU where we spent a terrifying 24 hours thinking DS2 had liver damage, and then another 5 days just waiting for his bilirubin levels to drop. The nurses were amazing, and I wanted to give back something to them, and give something those little bubs I saw who were so small, so sick. I wanted those moms and dads to know that someone out there was celebrating their baby, even though the circumstances might be terrifying, scary, or tragic. Someone was saying "Hooray, your beautiful baby is here!"

I've somehow let go the knitting for donation, and I'm feeling guilty about it. I am so lucky, so completely *blessed* by the amazing family I have, my wonderful husband and children, my parents and sister, my in-laws. Family of origin, family of marriage, and family of creation. I am, however, also pretty consumed by them at this point as well. My knitting is very family-focused right now too. I'm struggling with feeling like I should be giving more out to the world than I am, but I also feel like I'm sort of maxed out on the giving right now.

I'm not sure where the "should" comes from. I don't think it's from the world around me. To be honest, it seems to me the main message of modern US culture is about CONSUME BUY ME ME ME. I've never wanted to be that person, I've always wanted to be someone who gives, who lives some, if not all, of her life in service to others. This matters to me.

So, how do I get back to this, what is the best focus for my time and energy? We moved much further away from Boston (though technically still in the 'burbs). The hospital where I delivered DD (and who cared for us when she was jaundiced too) apparently has a corps of women who crochet hats for them, so they don't need something from me. Although I certainly didn't do the NICU hats for thanks, never getting *any* acknowledgment that they were even received, let alone feedback as to whether they were helpful or not was...discouraging. I'd really like my efforts to go to my own community, but I'm not sure how.

One thing I'm feeling really drawn to doing right now is crocheting small blankets. I'm wondering if that is something that would be a useful donation for the hospital, particularly for the Level II nursery where DD was delivered and spent time (both as a "preemie" ha ha, she was born at 36 weeks 6 days, and when she was jaundiced). Perhaps I'll call them and ask. Again, it's not really about being appreciated for the effort, but rather that the effort go where it's needed.

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