Wednesday, November 12, 2008

So, this is motherhood. Everything takes just about, well, a completely unpredictable amount of time more than I expect. Lots of half-dones, or never starteds or not-even-noticeds. And, then, there is what I AM doing, being with this extraordinary little man as he grows into his long fingers and solid feet, minute by minute, nap by nap, cry by cry. Attempting not to get attached to any one way to soothe him because the next day he knows not from that. Trying, trying so hard to listen to him and give him just what he needs. Lots of falling down. Lots more getting up.

I wrote the entry below the morning after Obama’s great victory, the evening of our collective victory over our own perceptions of powerlessness, our own disbelief in a future that wouldn’t just be a facsimile of the present – or worse. I am just now coming back to post these words, a now familiar rhythm bouncing a tired Asher in his already vibrating bouncy chair, still in my pajamas at 1 pm, happy to just have a day at home with nothing scheduled and no transitions to effect from here to there. Weary and happy. Just here, with the little man who is calm and sweet and a tad less waggly today than yesterday. But, boy is he, fighting a nap with his last little twitch. (by the time I finished this and added to the blog, he was asleep…)

So, a little snapshot from life with newborn….and some thoughts from a new mom on a new era….

I didn’t go out onto the campaign trail. I didn’t canvas in Nevada or Virginia or Ohio. I wasn’t among those in Grant Field when Obama invited us all to share in healing our planet, to care for one another and to understand that these problems wouldn’t be solved in a day.

I was going to be there. I was planning to take leave to get Obama elected. An early adopter for a vision of a politics and a democracy I could believe in again.

That was B.A. – Before Asher.

Instead, this would be a year for a different sort of transformation. But not one - I now know - that happens apart from the bright, if pothole-filled, new landscape into which we have all driven our still fuel-inefficient vehicles. We definitely aren't "there" yet, but at least we are here, and "there" is in view. I know now exactly why our new President’s ascent is so important. No, more than know it. I feel it in my still fleshy belly, my aching Mama bones. I haven’t found all the words – yet. But as I looked down at Asher curled up in my lap asleep as his Papa, Papy (Grandpa Daly) and I watched the returns roll in and the crowds gather in Chicago and streets and parks across the nation on Election Eve, I felt a new churning inside to make this world work for all of us, for every new child born.

I also know that we will now get a different model of what it is to be a family. I watched Barack Obama and our new first lady Michelle so clearly in love, their girls, confident and joyful.
A first family who cares about what we do and who models love and compassion. A president who we will proudly call ours.

We were all there, whether in Chicago or at home with our sleeping newborns in Kansas City or Houston or Seattle or DC or San Francisco.

And, it no longer mattered where I WASN’T. I knew exactly where I was.

1 comment:

Louis said...

Well, I'll be the first to comment. I've realized that may be the best way to get in touch with you two!

I also did not end up in Grant Park or canvass in Lorain, Ohio (or anywhere else). But I wore my Obama button in Hebrew proudly, engaged in passionate debate whenever necessary, and kept glued to all things election-related for what seemed like the entire two-year campaign. And yes, I felt like I too was exactly where I needed and wanted to be.

Your eloquence continues to captivate those around you. And Ben's conspicuous ogling of Asher and his lovely wife are sweet and appropriate.

We wish you the ongoing amazement and blessings that parenthood brings. And we share in your hopes for the new beginning for this country - one that our little ones can be proud of for generations to come.

Lou, Jane, Abbe and Joel