The Blue Pitcher

that which may be filled and emptied

Month: December, 2008

Last Night’s Dreams

Shafer Hall rode a pony through Grand Central Station, and I fished off the shore of Vieques where I caught a stingray but threw it back. There was also at least one trip to Burger King and my mother in a long white dress; snow kept falling–either outside my window or on the other side of my mind but I couldn’t see through the clouds. In her nestside-nest, the bird hardly squawked, but daylight came too soon anyway, and I woke, worried about sentences, worried that they’d never come, worried about what they’d say if they did.

Drop of the Ball

Several days ago, I saw my watch sitting on the dresser. I couldn’t remember the last time I had worn it, and I picked it up and glanced at it and found that it had stopped on November 27 just before 10 p.m.–right around the time I went into labor.

It’s been nearly a month and time, as I’ve always known it, has shifted completely. It has bent and twisted and folded its legs up under itself to sit blankly on the couch staring at the wall; it’s battled the wind and tears and a couple of gasps of exhausted laughter; it’s snuck out of the house while the baby slept next to her father, just to walk, alone, around the block breathing the solitary air.

I find myself jolting up in the middle of night worried that I’m not ready for Christmas–there are presents to buy and cards to write and loved ones to call–only to realize Christmas has already passed.

There was even the moment a few nights ago when I woke up half out of a dream thinking it was time: the baby was coming: labor had started. Moments later, by the light of the nightlight, I had changed my daughter and was feeding her and realized that soon she won’t even need me, that in all actuality, she already doesn’t need me.

It’s disorienting. Nights last a thousand years, and this month has gone by in a second, and come Thursday, it’ll be 2009: the ball will drop; strangers will kiss, and here we will be, in the heart of Brooklyn, my husband, my daughter and me, wondering if the night will ever end and still hoping that tomorrow might hold off on coming.

Ho Ho Ho!!!

It ain’t Christmas
if I’m not stuffing my baby girl into a stocking
for a photo op.

Merry Christmas to you and yours
from us and ours…

Merry Merry

Eva’s First Movie

She loved it; I loved it; you’ll love it.

Day Twenty-two

Yesterday, Ada came by with magic and light and a calender made of birds. She held Eva’s head with her two hands and gave her kisses, told her stories about whales and said her ears looked like seashells. After she left, we went to bed early, and I dreamed of icebergs, not just the tips of them but the whole mass of them. When I woke, I pulled Eva close and pressed my ear to her ear, tighter and tighter, until I could hear the whole ocean inside of her.

It’s morning like these…

when one wonders if it’s a good idea to start smoking again.

The scene: in bed, 3 a.m., baby wants to be fed, but no way can baby be hungry, baby just got fed at 2:30, baby’s diaper is clean, oh, but now, baby has peed all over “sleep sack,” all over sheets, so much urine out of such a tiny infant, quiet baby, please be quiet baby, shush baby shush baby shush. Take her, the wife says to her husband. Finally. Exhausted. This same song since 8 p.m. Take her before I throw her. Husband, in despair, not believing wife could say such a thing, husband who sleeps on the side of the bed where he can’t hear every cry and grunt of infant, husband who knows wife will wake up to comfort infant, will pick her up, latch her on, let her pee anywhere she pleases. Wife tries to comfort husband: You know I would never throw her, and of course she wouldn’t, I wouldn’t; she’s read it in all the millions of books: this is a normal feeling: it’s that 3 a.m. feeling, that oh my god what if my bones fall out because my skin’s too tired to hold them kind-of-feeling, that I’ve stared at you all day long little girly bird and I love you more than anything in the world so can’t you let me sleep for one hour straight kind-of-feeling, that barter-with-God, barter-with-self, barter-with-child (I’ll let you stay out all night for prom! Please just forty-five minutes). Husband says, Maybe you should give up dairy. Wife imagines pouring the milk down the drain, walking around the corner to the deli and bellying up to the counter for a pack of smokes, make that two, ah heck, just throw in a third. Gave up dairy, she could say when her husband came downstairs and found her burning wildly on the couch: her head on fire, her heart aflame, smoke seeping out of every inch of her. Gave up dairy for good.

Bliss

Courtesy of Sweet Margot

Postpartum Pop Quiz

The prenatal fear that you will “break the baby”
is quickly replaced by the fear that:

a) you constantly smell of spoiled milk.
b) the breast pump will scar you
(both emotionally & physically) for life.
c) you will never again wear pants that are not
i) maternity
or ii) intended for sleep and/or yoga.
d) your mind has turned to mush.
d) (see: d, and make this e)
e) All of the above!!!

Undone

Now, you sleep. A wave of sour milk,

a hundred piles of wash and me, your mother, in bed

crying real tears, your gums already so familiar,

and your feet, your seabird cry,

and now, you sleep, a sleep of the very tired,

a sleep I long to be sleeping,


but your cry, your breath. I hear too much

of you, hear black and blue, and when I reach

for you (as I do and do and do),


my hand finds the warm, moist air from your nose,

and I count your breaths. (One, two). Now, you sleep,

and I stand over you, and I want already


for you to forgive me, forgive my lurking,

my counting, forgive my bone-tired bones,

my envying your rest, my wondering if I can do this loving,


this I am your mother, and you are my child

kind of loving. Now, you sleep, and the wash stays

undone, and I too am undone, completely undone by you.