Friday, February 7, 2014

Wanderings


I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to write for today, but I've found this is usually remedied with a walk and some surfing.

We're expecting rain any minute now. Although it may seem unfair that most of the northern hemisphere is facing freezing snowstorm after freezing snowstorm while Californians have been wearing shorts and eating dinner outside, the truth is, all of this behavior is typical for us only when we are on the verge of a major drought. So rain is welcome and we are waiting. 

Before I left for my walk, I photographed the lime tree, full of buds I hope will turn to fruit soon. The last lime tree we had turned completely black. What wasn't frost bitten was covered in ants. I'm hoping for more for this new one.

On my walk, I decided that lately rather than baby fever, I have actually developed baby fear; a condition that causes irritability when questioned about your future family and acute apprehension about the impending change a baby would bring. I wonder if my fears seem typical or not. I'm not worried about diapers or child rearing or the tantrum throwers or the struggling student. I've had experiences with that. I've been that. I'm not even afraid of the inevitable "I hate yous" because I know it will bum me out and that is just that. Like most things that have come before it, I know that I will have to try to approach parenting with grace; to accept being slighted and injured while all the while trying to love.

I've observed many parents from far away and up close when nannying and teaching school. I've observed my own every day I've spent with them. I've thought over what it will be like for me to be one about as often as I find a tangle in my hair. I know being a mother will be the greatest adventure I've had yet. Change never ceases to terrify me. 

I think the main reason I'm not ready to be a parent is because I'm not sure I'm ready to not be a child. 

Still wandering the beach, I tried to capture the way the sand shimmered. Some rain drops fell even though I couldn't identify the clouds they came from. They seemed to drift down from the sky like toy army men do when their parachutes open. 

No one else was surfing when I paddled out. Of course, I love this. I'm reminded of the time when my lifeguard friend said that when he's driving down the beach and doesn't see anyone for miles except one person, he always knows it's me. I love bad waves and cold-water-solitude. It puts me at peace with my thoughts. Whatever they may be that day. 

20 comments:

  1. My husband and I get the "when are you going to have a baby" question all the time and the thought scares me too. Not because of the kid, I'm the oldest of 5 children, but I worry that I'm going to change. I see so many women who completely change after having kids. So you are not alone being scared!

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    1. Thanks Rachel. That makes me feel better.

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  2. What a lovely post Devon. I'm envious of your sun and your lime tree. There's rain, rain and more rain here, and terrible flooding. It's hard when people ask you about babies, I do wish they wouldn't. It can be really upsetting for some, and I always think it's a subject best not raised unless the other person does first. Parenting looked at as a whole can seem terrifying and overwhelming. The only way to deal with it is one day at a time I think. I have no idea how I'll manage three teenage boys. But today, all I have to do is manage the same three I coped with okay yesterday. And although things change, inside the parents are still there, and still uniquely them. I love the image of you as the sole surfer in miles of open seascape. It's how I think of you somehow, because you are such a thoughtful person. Sending you wishes of rain Devon. CJ xx

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    1. If only we could have some of your rain and you could have some of this sun. I agree with you completely. If the person doesn't bring it up themselves, don't ask. That's maybe a good rule of thumb for a lot of personal topics. Thank you for your advice. It is very good. I really do need to think more in terms of days than years and so on. I'm sure you'll do fine with your boys no matter the age. They seem very sweet and well rounded and I can tell you are a good mom (or mum ;) Sending you sun, CJ :)

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    2. Thank you for your sweet words Devon. And it worked, we had some sunshine today! CJ xx

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  3. "I think the main reason I'm not ready to be a parent is because I'm not sure I'm ready to not be a child." Amen Sista! I think it's the age we're at (cough-late20s-cough) that gets us contemplating children even though we know in our hearts we're not yet ready. I'm currently struggling with not feeling ready, but feeling like I should be. Hubby, as relaxed and chilled as ever, just says 'We'll have them when we're ready and it'll be perfect' - it's so lovely when they say the right thing without being prompted :) have a great weekend x

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    1. I like your husband's advice. It really is perfect...It will work out when the time is right and the time will be right someday. I agree, it is nice when they say just what you need to hear. Enjoy your weekend too Laura! And thanks! :)

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  4. yep! those scenes are definitely inspiring enough to spur on writing ;)
    and believe you me, I had the baby fears too.
    then - SURPRISE - I got pregnant.
    and now, I couldn't see my life any other way.
    We're getting rain tonight and tomorrow too.
    BUT, no shorts or t-shirts here.

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    1. I'm happy for you Misty! And, I'm happy to hear that. I figure that's the way it will be.

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  5. It used to drive me crazy when people would ask about our plans to start a family and even now, people still ask if we're going to have a 3rd child or if we're going to try to have a girl. It's none of their business! Becoming a parent is overwhelming and I don't think that you're ever ready. I'm not going to lie but one of the biggest adjustments for me was having my identify shift from being my own individual person to being mom and having my days/nights tied to this other being - an amazing being but still someone outside of myself. I'm not saying it's good or bad but it's an adjustment. But it does all seem to happen when it happens and it all works out.

    PS I too love the image of you being the lone surfer out in the line-up.

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    1. Thanks for your honesty Christine. I appreciate that. I really wanted to hear about other people's experiences with some of the same feelings. From what I can tell, you seem like a great mom who enjoys both parenting and maintaining your identity as a yogi, surfer, runner etc. I hope to strive for the same someday.

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  6. We all have our own timing, you know? And we never know exactly how life will pan out. Lately I've found myself envious of everyone around me announcing their pregnancies. It's a biting feeling, but it doesn't take away from the excitement I feel for THEM, but it does make me feel bummed out for ME. But again, everything in its own time. Until then, I love the family I have with Scott. :)

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    1. Yes, I can always agree with that advice. Everything has its own time. Thanks Lindsay! The timing will be right for you too, when it's right.

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  7. I think I make this same comment on blogs about once a week... But... You will probably never feel ready for a baby. I know I didn't. But then we just did it, and it's worked out just fine so far. :-) I waited and waited and waited (until I was 36) to feel ready and then realized that feeling wasn't going to arrive. I only wish I had realized it a bit sooner because I know chasing a 4 yr old around when I am 40 is not going to be so fun! That's not to say you should rush into it, but just that lots of us felt the same way. :-)

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    1. I guess it is a rather common fear and I think you're right. Sometimes you just can't be ready for some things. Thanks for the advice :)

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  8. I'm not in that time of life when everybody asks you when you're going to have a child - I have no economical stable situation, I still live with my parents and I'm trying to get my degree - but someone started to point out that at my age my mother already had me. I've never actually wanted a child, not only because I don't really like them and I' don't know how to get along with them (I'm sure that this comes quite natural in the moment you become a mum), but especially because what scares me it's the fact that, as a woman, I would literally be forced by nature to love someone much more than I love myself and the person I'm married to; and to me, this is simply overwhelming. I know this sounds horrible, childish and selfish, but it's something I think about when thinking about children: I don't think I want to give up the love I have for myself, and for my chosen person, for someone that I simply have to love more. I may change idea in the future, because never say never. Maybe I will find what looks like a good balance between myself and my child, like Christine above said, but right now, this is what I think scares me the most: the overwhelming-ness of love.

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    1. Thank you for your honesty. I don't think you're alone in your feelings. Not at all, in fact I think one of the hardest things about thinking about having a baby, to me, is that life is no longer all about you and what you want, it's about this person or people you don't know yet. Self-centeredness is something I think I struggle with, so this seems hard to imagine putting aside what I want to do (surf, write, stay up late, sleep in, have a drink with dinner etc.) for this sort of undefined amount of time. You don't have to make the same sacrifices when you get married, although I know I would for Scott if I had to. I feel I already love this child or children that do not exist yet, but it's hard to conceptualize changing most everything I do right now. It's scary. Maybe we have to rely on the "overwhelming-ness of love" and nothing else because nothing else seems to make it make sense.

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  9. I read your blog periodically. I too am a Cali girl. Grew up surfing with my Dad...though I don't have the mad skills you have. My husband and I now have an 8 month old. The pregnancy wasn't planned. It kinda freaked us out but once the initial shock wore off we became excited. At first I was totally afraid to leave behind the life that my husband and I had built as a couple. I felt selfish with my time and not very "maternal". Fortunately the maternal thing REALLY does kick in and come naturally. As for our little guy...he's just awesome. I mean, he's this total physical, tangible, embodiment of our love...which is pretty sweet. Sure I basically hung up my board for a good year but it turns out I would give up surfing any day for this kid (but I don't have to which is an added bonus). I mean, sure there are days when I want to hire a nanny so I can do whatever I want...but when it boils down to it I'm beyond happy and blessed to me a mama. All this to say...when you DO get pregnant...you probably won't feel ready, but things will just sorta fall into place. And it will be the greatest, craziest adventure ever. Just a different one then you're used to. :)

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