true story: the newborn days were not joyful for me. I know some women are able to love it and bask in their well earned status as new mother of a milky babe. I was pretty confused about what Lux needed, what she wanted, what I was supposed to be doing. Joy was a word a lot of old people exclaimed to me on the street. “What a joy she is!” they said. I scrunched my eyes shut and tried to imagine how they saw her. Where was that ethereal glow, that leapt into their eyes at the sight of her, coming from? They grinned at me expecting an eager nod of agreement, but received only a smile and few fuzzy blinks from my tired eyes. This rumored joy of being a mother felt like an elusive promise in those early days.
I suppose my greatest moments of joy have come from sharing the work of raising Lux with Joe. Watching how he responds to a situation when I am at a loss, learning what inspires him about her, and most especially watching their long-lost-best-friends reunion every evening when he comes home from work. And–that wonderful feeling when you think, “oh I don’t know if I have it in me for this right now,” but wait! Your partner appears and handles it for you, in a way far different from what you would have done. A sigh of relief, and you sit back, watch, and learn.
Meanwhile, toddlers spend at least five minutes every day in a state of sheer joy. We go to a carousal in our park quite frequently. It’s a treat, but not an exotic one for the kids in our neighborhood. The animals are nicked here and there from overlove, but glossy with paint and bedazzled with jewels, and in the evenings they turn on the rows of bulbs and from across the park you can see the ribboning lights spin by. Lux’s current favorite is a rabbit with a pink collar and blue eyes who is completely missing one of his ears. Anyway, yesterday, as soon as the gate opened, Lux took off in a sprint around it, her arms thrown back as she circled the wooden animals. She was completely overjoyed at the prospect of the ride and did a full lap of glee. I watched her mini celebration of the moment in awe. Learning from her, learning from Joe, that’s where I finally stumbled on the promised joy.
This is the third in a series of posts for the Sling Diaries. I’m wearing the Sakura Bloom pure baby linen sling in twilight.