So, where were we?
Right, at the part where I said I will be indefinitely discontinuing my personal blog on account of devoting to motherhood and writing. Again.
And dear friends and neighbors, believe it or not, the time has come. Word to the wise: do not start blogging if you have an addictive personality because it will take more than one broken promise to your readers to quit, and it's hard to walk with your tail between your legs.
Any rate, this post shall be my last one, so let's make it worthwhile.
This is how Johnny looked a week ago:
This is how Johnny looks today:
You might not see a big change, but I can assure you that when it comes to the way baby boys are growing, you are not allowed to even blink. I jokingly wrote once about finding out soon enough that Johnny is a wunderkind so I can relax and go back to making more babies and attending to my writing and photography career, and guys, some things doesn't seem that funny anymore when you realize that there's an actual chance for them to turn true. Not to brag, but Johnny is a smart baby if I ever met one. Watching him advance and evolve so well and so fast is a terrific experience. So terrific, in fact, that it's overwhelming. Which brings me to the topic of motherhood.
Let me tell you about motherhood. It really bears no explanation, but I must try regardless. Writers who become mothers have it tough that way.
I sleep 11 hours a night (bringing my Mom to California was one of the best decisions I made to date), and who has such a luxury with a newborn anyway!? John is a naturally good father (you must hear the songs he's making up for Johnny: "...and if the diamond ring don't shine, Mamma's gonna buy you a porcupine."), Shelby has developed a bigger sister instinct, my in-laws are bursting with pride and joy (among other things, the Little Pfeiffer Prince is already being fixed to learn Chinese, carpentry, and how to pick grapes and make wine), and all of our friends are in awe with Johnny (a coworker of John asked him if we had sparkled our baby with fairy dust. Fairy dust!). Motherhood is quite dandy, really.
Motherhood is also all about efficiency. It's doing everything double time. It is going to Costco and choosing cheap over environmental diapers, and not beating myself too hard about it. Motherhood is a daily life in physical pain, and not minding feeling sore and disjointed. It is having disfigured nipples and a big scar to forever remind me of giving birth. It is hearing a baby cry even if no baby is crying. Motherhood is to consider myself well groomed if my armpit hair is only 3 days old. It is the urge of making lists, and the need of an external digital brain where to store them. It is to make everything safe and cozy and warm and comfortable.
Yet sometimes you just have to get away from your safe place to squeeze a thought out and be able to finish the sentence, any sentence...
I step out the door and I walk off, hoping to dispel the fog in my head and get my body going again. Sometimes you need to catch a break, and gosh, it feels good to bathe in bright ultraviolet rays** and smell the star jasmine that blooms on fences all over town.
Having a child isn't what I imagined. There's seems to be much more to it than taking care of the baby, loving him, and devoting myself and my time to him... I find no boarder between Johnny and I, at least not yet. He is a continuation of me, and I can't even remember what it was before he came about. His existence is rightful and fundamentally good, and most of the time I simply want to eat the cute little bug.
The thing is, a part of me is still trying to come to terms with this new, expanded and improved version of myself. I have taken it to the next level - I am Bobby the mother now, not just Bobby the person. Funnily, changing better than seven thousand diapers a day and oozing milk when I shower and worrying about the smallest thing and receiving the sweetest smiles as an exchange for my caresses doesn't quite help me fathom the motherhood concept, like stepping out for awhile does. So I walk down to Castro Street, I sit down with my notebook in my lap, and I stand still. I look, I listen, and I feel.
It's funny how often we need to remind ourselves of who we are. Can't we just be?!
But you gotta do what you gotta do. There are Hispanic high-school seniors going to their prom in a pink Hummer limo with the windows down, and a hip-hop track blasts along the street, and they laugh and they holler over the music. More prom girls are taking Instagram photos of their shoes in front of a restaurant. There's an American flag flapping in the wind, a seagull flying overhead, and some other birds chirping wildly. The traffic, both car and pedestrian, is somehow festive. People pass by in their Sunday clothes and shoes, most of them uncomfortable but shiny, and they go for dinners and drinks, they hold hands, walk their dogs on leashes, their kids in strollers; they eat ice cream and they hold a bunch of yellow balloons, they sip coffees and get startled when the train whistle sounds, or when someone blows their horn, and they look up when a motorcycle revs its engine through the intersection.
These are the last days of May and the world is springing into summer. I watch the world happening like I used to do so many times before but I am different now. I am a mother. After awhile it occurs to me that it's alright. All of it. It's fine - the world going on its weekend round, motherhood going on in the safe confinements of my home, and even the sentence going on in my head, unable to quite finish.
It's okay and I can let it all go for a minute without a fear that one will be lost, or that the other will go wrong if I don't pay close attention. Because it's not the way it works. Both the world and motherhood are mine to experience any old way I want and see fit, and there's no manual, and there's nothing set in stone. Everything is equally important. Sometimes life prevails over art, other times art distracts me from life. Either way, I am free to enjoy the benefits.
And as for motherhood? I hold my baby and I watch him doze off, milk trickling from the corner of his mouth. He has these very clear, almost adult eyes. Babies are the most precious things because they are uncorrupted. I touch his hands and think that one day he'll hold a wheel in them, he'll fondle girls' breasts, he'll open doors and count bills and push buttons and supermarket carts and put a tie on, but I also think that he'll draw interesting pictures and write meaningful words and make beautiful things out of wood. Every mother has to believe that her child will grow up to reach for big dreams with these hands. It's the way should be, and I mean both believing and reaching. Johnny is wearing soft little pajamas with cute little animals on them, and he's making sweet baby noises and funny baby faces, and one day he'll be making decisions and he'll have the power to change the course of things.
We created a life here. We gave a start to a whole new story. Do you really want to know what motherhood is? It is making sure the story is good.
Because in a way, motherhood is not any different than writing.
If something doesn't make much sense in this post, it's because I am very tired and trying to write while also living a life (enjoy baby life!) and loving it.
Thank you for all the support, comments, and interest so far. It was a huge pleasure to share my world with you! I won't disappear altogether (so let's not get too sentimental here) but I will be only posting on my Portfolio and my Literature Blog from now on.
Besides, what a great excuse to create a new blog than to finish with the old one.
Ah, the prospects!
* From Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
** The sentence is taken from the lyrics of the Audioslave song Jewel Of The Summertime