Yesterday was the first day in a long, long while stills from my adolescence resurfaced.
It’s likely because I no longer reject the identity of parent, yet the identity of kid doesn’t seem that far off. A half of my lifetime ago. I met my wife at the beginning of adulthood, just as I was saying goodbye to recklessness and half-patched relationships. Before I knew her name, I said to her, “I can look at you,” in the middle of Satellite Coffee, her waiting for a hot chai. I was still attached to my best friend, Steven, I was in a reheated relationship, I texted strangers and I envisioned myself becoming an artist. An art artist, mixed media. A writer. A songwriter. An actor. A creator. I was a mess and I wanted to stay a mess. My wife was still a student and I considered her my equal. We stayed up through the night. Her and my grandma had the same little green car. She knew my counter was a broken bookshelf turned sideways and my car was bumblebee yellow and I knew I would love her the first time I saw her.
Felix was born at 7:14 AM last Tuesday. This time around, we played Pandemic. Iris slept until the very end of labor. Christina stared into my eyes again. Iris kissed my forehead. They caught him as I pushed holding onto one of the most familiar comforts of my life: the side of the bathtub. He was born en caul; his amniotic sac never broke and he said hello to the outside of my body still inside of his personal ocean.
We are moms with two kids.
One of them is sleeping sidecar next to our bed, three pairs of socks on to not get cold. The tiny one is wearing a Mumford and Sons t-shirt I cut and sewed into a nightgown. He smells like rotting flesh, his umbilical cord still hanging on and I can smell it through layers of blankets like I can smell the blood coming out of my body. The last time I wrote about birth, I wrote that I felt high for the week after.
I’m still in that week. It’s almost midnight and the tiny kid projectile pooped in the middle of a diaper change, after peeing in the middle of the same diaper change. Iris rolled around on the floor laughing and declared Christina should have been up to experience the poop rocket with us. Come next week, I might be miserable, but this week we learned that cleaning a small squishy penis is way more difficult than labia and I’m just fine with it.
Today, I said, “If the argument is about cleanliness, getting rid of the testicles seems way more clean than getting rid of the foreskin.” Today, I also said, “Soon, that umbilical cord is going to fall off and get lost behind his balls.”
Iris and I baked parmesan buttermilk biscuits today. Felix and I napped three hours today. Iris and I made black bean sweet potato soup today. I wondered where that person is today, the one who wanted to create and not just clothes for kids. It’s April 1st, mine and Christina’s 10th anniversary. One out of three days of my life have been spent with her. What are the things I wanted to do that I still haven’t done? What haven’t I created? What do I still care to create? Do I care about writing, or would I rather read others’? How has my predilection towards self-sabotage shifted my path? Do I care to get back on it? What makes my heart thwap outside of my humans?
It’s Day 6.5.
My heart thwaps from the mess of charcoal.
Pouring moka pot coffee into warm milk.
Miranda July writing about literally anything.
Remember that I Love You, full album.
The soundtrack to Juno.
My heroes make my heart thwap.
The end of my teenage years.
The last ten years.