March 14, 2014
A Letter to the Future
Dear Future Me,
In a few weeks, months, or years you are going to look back on this time and remember such sweetness. You might remember how exhausted you were after more than nine months without a solid night's sleep. You might remember how hard it was figuring out how to be a mom, never really knowing if you were doing a good job or doing the right things. You will remember the wiggly little boy who was crawling with great proficiency and speed, moving all around and exploring every corner, every surface, every speck of dust. You will remember the way he followed you from room to room and the way you learned to have eyes in the back of your head, making sure that he wasn't getting into anything that could cause him harm. You'll remember the chubby ankles and wrists, the way he grabbed food by the handful and stuffed it into his mouth. I hope you won't forget trudging across snowy sidewalks with Amos snuggled up against you peering out at the world and the way he relaxed against you while listening to a bedtime story. I know you will look back and remember how wonderful it was.
I want to tell you that it was hard to find any sort of balance between Amos, household chores, and working three days a week, but you already know that. Every day for months I've thought about how to find more time for my creative work. How to be more disciplined, despite fatigue. How to push myself to do more sewing, to write every day, to be more focused and productive. Some days I just thought about it. Some days I wrote a bit while Amos was napping. Sometimes I cut fabric while he crawled around and I tried to make sure he didn't eat any fabric scraps. I wasn't going to let a little baby keep me from working toward my big dreams. Some days I read a lot of other people's blog posts. I was inspired but never as productive as I wanted to be. I baked bread and made cookies (and ate too many of them, always). I wanted to lean in to the life I wanted. I wanted to write a book proposal and make a living with my sewing and connect with the amazing creative people that I admire. I know that most parents grapple with this precarious balance (or lack there of) and the struggle to figure out how nurture their child and keep their own dreams alive. I know everyone says that raising children, even making them your full time job, is the hardest and most rewarding thing you can do but I didn't want to lose the creative work that I love and believe in. Do you remember this part, too?
But I don't want to spend every day worrying about so I'm putting my trust in you. Tonight I might just take a hot bath, or watch an episode of Parks and Recreation, or read a few pages of a book or turn the lights out by eight o'clock. I won't forget the work we both believe in but I'm going to try to let whatever I can do in a day be enough. Waking up a few times a night, running down to the basement to do laundry, preparing meals and getting the dishes done. Watching Amos explore the world. Sometimes out of the corner of my eye as I write a few sentences or stir something on the stove, sometimes with both eyes completely transfixed on this amazing being. I know we're in it for the long haul and we both have a lot of work to do to nurture and take care of this little guy as he grows and finds an even bigger world to explore.
Lately I've been reading the notes from the other side of dreams achieved: don't quit, don't be afraid, keep trying, believe in your dreams. We're not there yet, but here's the thing: I know (and you know) that we won't quit. I might not accomplish much on these big projects for a while. I might not live up to the expectations I have for myself or the accomplishments of other moms. But I know I won't give up. You won't give up. I'll find time, energy and motivation when I can. You will pick up where I left off on the work that really matters. You know I am self-motivated and hard-working but that I need lots of sleep and a good amount of down time. I know you are probably tired, too, but you won't forget what needs to be done. I hope we can both remember that we are so lucky to live this life and have these dreams.