Fantasy vs. Reality

My life is a standstill whirlwind of chaos and bliss.

I only dared to dream about snuggling a newborn again and this baby girl of mine far exceeds the tiny fantasy vision I’d had for so long. This baby love is the happiest human I’ve ever known and as unrealistic as my fantasies have been in the past… this one takes the cake.

I wake up to her smiling at me every day. She grins with newborn wonder and sparkly blue eyes that light up just like her siblings. She looks like my mother. She screams like my grandmother did, which was rare, but shocking in its intensity.

She’s the zen little peacemaker that’s healed my unforgiving heart and my broken family. Her sweet smiles alleviate even the most desperate of concerns.

I’m scared to admit out loud how broke I am, or put words to the mom-fears that surround Christmas, braces for the teenager or property taxes due in December. Never mind the half-dozen cavities screaming angrily at me every time I eat.

Shit isn’t rosy… and there’s more shit in my life these days than I care to admit.

But…

My garden is fucking phenomenal. My 20+ varieties of heirloom tomatoes are 4 feet and climbing. I am swimming in zucchini, green beans, beets, carrots, potatoes and flowers. I make a fresh batch of basil pesto every day. I’ve lost all the baby weight and am working on the extra inches I was carrying pre-baby. There are fresh-cut zinnias, sunflowers and Swiss chard as far as the eye can see.

I seek the company of my loved ones and surround myself with people who love us. My daughters are thriving in their newfound sisterhood and nobody is feeling left out or less favored.

We’ve become vegetarians… sort of. I love a good steak… don’t get me wrong… but I was wholeheartedly addicted to documentaries during my pregnancy and as Maya Angelou says… “When you know better, you do better” So we gave up unfamiliar meat. My mama raised meat chickens for our family this year and I’m trading veggies for some lovingly homegrown beef… but beyond that, we’ve turned cooking veggies into an art form. I don’t even miss it, and I feel better than I have in years. I look at this tiny newborn daughter of mine and don’t want to put anything into her that isn’t wonderful… and that includes her diet. I’ve been harvesting a variety of veg for frozen baby food cubes and she is completely set when she’s 9 months and starts eating solid food. There are deep purple beet cubes, brilliant orange carrot cubes and more.

The bills are all behind, the stress is mounting and I have never been happier. I have every reason to worry, and every reason to be grateful. I am humbled by my blessings and as protective as a mama grizzly. I am a one woman stand up routine of the trials and tribulations of motherhood… and don’t even get me started on the evils of infant clothing in fluorescent neon colors. WTF… this tiny human just spent 40 weeks safely guarded under my heart, why the hell would I want to put her in flagger orange or lime green? Give me a nice pale pink t-shirt, any day.

I’m in heaven. I have stacks of cloth diapers everywhere, I’m that annoying mom who clogs your Instagram with my gorgeous babe all too often and I can breastfeed and dig potatoes at the same time.

I’m a dichotomy of motherhood and I do it all alone, without that stupid damn tent they expect us breastfeeding mothers to wear.

But…

My relationship with the baby-daddy is shit. I see lawyers, trials and hate ahead and wish I didn’t already know how much all of that stuff sucks. I will continue to do my best to keep the peace, encourage him to support her physically and financially and will strive to include the members of his family who are respectful and kind. The rest can fade to black. I wasted a few hours arguing with a family member of his via text and realized that it’s pointless. I will not change their minds about me any more than he’d be able to change my family’s mind about him. At this point, it’s not about either of us and if I should happen to find 10 extra minutes in the day… I’m taking a shower. To hell with wasting time. ‘Aint nobody got time for that.

All that said, I am stunned on a daily basis by the amount of people who love and care for this tiny darling girl of mine. I’ve had a few people offer to watch her when I go back to work and I’m thankful that nobody will have to be overwhelmed or burdened by it. My mom is already grieving her winters in the sunny tropics that will take her away from little Q.

My house is clean. My laundry is done. I’ve been trying new recipes and sleeping in. I’ve rewritten the few chapters in my someday-I’m-going-to-be-a-writer file. I’m falling asleep early and waking up to the squeaky reminder that dreams come true around 2 AM every morning.

Rubbing my tired eyes… I hear her begin to squirm and grumble….

I roll over and my feet hit the cool wood floor. I peer over the side of the white wicker bassinette beside my bed and behold an angel. She’s in that same pale pink t-shirt, with the highly guarded and much-loved pink elephant newborn pacifier in her mouth. She’s grunty goodness reminding me that in all this stress, angst and frustration… there is magic. I pick her up and she smiles. I kiss her and she lunges for my face in hopes that it’s the breast she loves so much. She smells like breast milk and baby lotion and I say a little prayer of gratitude every time my lips brush her velvety soft cheek. I pull her into bed with me and tuck her into the sheets and quilt that cover her big sister and I and she starts to fuss as I fumble with the nursing bra standing in her way.

She nurses furiously and watches me intently while I grin at her.

She redirects my stress and reminds me why I worry, why I shouldn’t… and why it will all be ok.

This little happy miracle that writes my happy ending and lights a fire under me at the same time.

My baby Q. My baby and my fantasy come true.

qsizedThe best sort of reality I ever hoped for.

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