I have been writing about vulnerability for two and a half years.
I began research during a pregnancy that ended with EE in our arms but not breathing, drafted my way through the worries of J’s pregnancy with Bram, wrote on through that first year of parenting wherein the precarity of loving someone that much is almost unbearable, and began to revise as Saul was placed in our family, only to be taken back by his birth mother one month later. Just as I began my final round of revisions, I got pregnant again. The next day, my dad passed away. What I’m saying is: this work has been with me through some things. And three weeks from tonight, I will put it down for awhile.
This is (as my dad would say) a good good thing. We need some space from one another. Some breathing room. And in truth: I’m not sure I’d advise someone to write about vulnerability. The universe seems to take it as an invitation. Still, I don’t know who I’ll be on the other side of this work. I sure as hell won’t be the girl I was when I started it. I have less optimism than she had. I am more cautious than she ever was. But then: I have a son. She wasn’t a mom. I am a mom.
Anyway, I’m tired tonight, and I guess I wanted to reach out so that I wouldn’t just feel alone there. I am tired from the ten thousand hours I’ve labored with this project, from the lessons it has had to teach, which are heavy. I’m tired from fourteen months of not sleeping through the night. I’m tired with grief; I miss my dad terribly, and I worry for the boy who isn’t Sauly. I’m tired from the start of early pregnancy exhaustion and from the work of staying detached for fear of trusting this being inside of me. For fear of trusting myself with him or her. I’m just tired. And I’m feeling so fiercely, desperately, needily in love with what I have: my wife, our son, my mom, our family and friends. The byproduct of spending years thinking about precarity: it all feels so damn fragile.
Music helps. Just give me one thing that I can hold onto. To believe in this livin’ is just a hard way to go.
And A man needs something he can hold onto. A nine pound hammer or a woman like you.
And There’s no use in trying to deal with the dying, though I cannot explain that in lines.
And the little boy asleep upstairs with my beautiful wife. He helps too, and so does she. None of you warned me how much it was possible to love. They are, as the cliche goes, the sun and the moon. Two days ago, Bram climbed into my lap, looked me straight in the eye, and said, “mama.” Then he smiled. He’s clingy in the mornings, and so am I. We have a thing in the mornings. We cling. Then we find our footing on the day. He is just so much joy. And we get to parent him. I get that privilege. And with it, all that risk.
Maybe I’ll write about something happy next. Or you know: at least something less honest.
These are my great great loves on the day J brought Bram into the world. So, yeah. Vulnerability.