expectant motherhood

8 years 6 months 13 days

Dear Frijolita:

You and I, we've worked hard to build a relationship of love & mutual respect. Some days that goes swimmingly. Other days... well, I don't write about those as much as a more transparent mama might. 

But this time, this Coronavirus time, it's made for a number of hard days. So many that, on this Mother's Day, I have to admit my mama muscles are being stretched more that I really ever wanted or knew to be possible. 

You see, last year, when we had a fire in our home, I thought that being a refuge for you thru that traumatic experience was the most my mama muscles could manage. Your sadness at not being home. Your fear from the experience of actually finding the fire. Your frustration at the way insurance and repairs constantly interrupted your daily life. All of that... helping you weather those things... that was a lot for my mama-ness to bear. 

And now... we're living thru a global pandemic. Granted, we're no longer in the hotel. Technically, because of our fancy footwork & the gracious assistance of incredible friends who helped us pull it all off, we're at home... living in our RV in the driveway, but at least we're on our land. 

But even so... even though we're home... and we're gardening and we're reunited with our dogs and we got chickens and we can play on our own trampoline... this Stay At Home mandate that we're living is hard. Hard because of confinement. Hard because of no school. And hard because of fear.

Your mama human never expected that her having asthma would limit you. It's limited me on occasion, sure. There have been a few uncomfortable moments in gym classes over the years. It, coupled with allergies, makes it so that no cat I've ever met is allowed to be my friend. But you have gotten your full life-- running, playing, and snuggling felines... if you absolutely must. 

That was true. Until now. 

Because COVID-19 works as an inflammation that particularly attacks the lungs, my having asthma has suddenly created all sorts of limitations for our family. We don't shop for groceries any more... we choose them on a website and hope they show up. We don't visit friends in their homes any more... we go to their curb and wave and chat from at least six feet apart. And we don't plan for how our life will get back to normal once the Stay At Home order is lifted. 

Our timeline is longer. We, because of me, are forced to wait until a vaccine becomes available. That timeline could be a handful of months. It could also be more than a year or two. 

And for you, with the density of the days of your life encompassing so many growth points, a year or two seems like forever. This week has been the week you've realized we're likely to live limited for a while. It hasn't settled well for you. You're angry that your friends will be making memories while you're at a distance. You're sad because school is a place that blows your mind and you're certain Dad and I won't be able to pull it off as well as the people who do it professionally every day. You're disappointed because other mamas' bodies don't make it so you have to live this way.


Let me assure you little bean, this isn't the motherhood I expected. When you began growing inside me the only motherhood I knew I'd know was one that would catapult you as far and as high as your heart would desire. In my lifetime, I have advocated for hundreds of kids... hoping & praying & prodding for the best life they could envision. I only intended for that to be the same for you... me... your mom human... as fuel for every moment being dynamic... not me... your mom human... as tether... holding you back because of the needs I carry.

But maybe let's say... or let's hope... that this time of staying at home... this time of you and Dad and I waiting to see what science can pull off... let's call this our moment of opportunity. We'll read all the best books. We'll garden the world's largest zucchini. We'll ride our bikes and build blanket forts and make homemade pasta. We'll live a full and robust limited life... for a while. And then... when we're allowed to operate fully again because we were wise & scientists pulled the right things off... we'll do those same things again, with friends & teachers & all the humans we've had to keep more than six feets away.

I love you... limitlessly.



This series, Dear Frijolita, will be shared intermittently, some in real time, some from journal entries of the past.