The Rooster

It was the rooster, then

Calling me awake

Staying up too late

Planting the seeds of our best dreams

In the clouds

And we would wonder why they fell.

I didn’t speak that tongue well,

But I learned all of the music,

I figured I could probably use it,

Worked the rhythm with my hands

And everyone was moved.

I knew that I was soothing

And I could carry all that brooding

For a time.

I could make rhymes out of our story,

Make it sound like wonder, glory,

Build us up so strong and tall.

And when you fall,

When the wind is just a bit too rough,

When the drugs have messed your balance up,

When you crash into a wall

Then you will know just how I folded,

How I sank down to my knees

And found support

Only at the stone cold bottom of an empty well

Where I fed myself on wishes

And reviewed all of my lists

Of all the signs that I had missed

And there was nothing left to do

But take apart the world I’d woven,

Criticize the words I’d carefully chosen

And warm up the parts of me I’d frozen

And I looked myself right in the eye.

And I know, now,

That the desperation that I felt,

My dedication to giving help,

Was my desire to be desired

By the parts of him

That reminded me of myself.

I know now,

That the rooster taught me in his way

Many things that shaped who I am today

And I can now look back and say

I wouldn’t change a thing.

But I know, now

Not to go wishing

On shooting stars

With broken wings.

No matter what they sing.

Out of Control

So, I’m about 37 and a half weeks pregnant. Third child… So this is not completely new to me, but since I first learned I was pregnant I’ve been worried about stacking more and more on top of the struggles I’m still having in adjustment to becoming a parent to each of my first two children.

I have learned a lot. So much. And that list is growing all the time, still. My first opened up a lot of lessons about trust – in myself, in her, in the world around us. My second has compounded that with lessons in patience. Both of them together teach me so much about surrender and initiative, communication and support.

And there is still so much I don’t know, so much I don’t have figured out. And I expect that is the way it is meant to be,  in parenting and in life. It just seems the lessons and the challenges come packed so much closer together in the early childhood years, with so much on the line and so little time to adapt.

But I have grown a lot, too. I think the greatest thing I’ve noticed lately is that I am growing into the uncertainty and lack of control that I must allow at times. And I don’t welcome it very often still, but I’m learning to recognize that it’s unavoidable, and I’m learning more about all the parts of myself that still want to resist. And one at a time or sometimes in many ways at once I am learning to heal, to tame and to teach those parts how to deal.

But here I am, nearing the end of my third pregnancy. Thought I had finally reached the plateau after a long climb towards discipline in routines and housekeeping, clearing space so that I could do the work required each day to keep from drowning under half finished chores, neglected personal projects and plentiful requests for help and attention.

But now I’m tired. And just today, I feel my body has stretched past it’s threshold for this extra weight and the work I was trying to do with it. And my back is starting to hurt, and my legs and my feet have been so stiff and my body doesn’t want to do the work anymore.

And this could mean that labor is imminent.  I feared it was coming last week, but I’ve been hoping for it any day now. Or it could mean that I have a few weeks to spend not being able to bend over to pick up the toys and the clutter, or load the dishwasher, or pick up little bodies wanting to feel close…

And if that is the case, I’ll be in for many days of watching rather helplessly as all the work I’ve put in to make my house feel tidy enough for my mental well being is undone. Watching things pile up again, falling behind after finally crawling out of that place of feeling like I was perpetually catching up, but never quite getting there.

And there is something poetic about that for me, that as I grew more worried about how I was going to physically keep up with the tangible work that needed to be done, that I will be forced to surrender to complete inaction and just have to deal with it that way. That makes sense. I know that’s one way that I can be forced to make peace when I’ve been fighting with myself.

But it doesn’t seem fair, at all. Because I do think I was stressing just a bit too much, but I’ve really needed the discipline and the results that I was pushing for. I really needed to know that I could keep things up. I really needed that much clear space and order to make myself feel like I could handle this, like I am indeed cut out for the life that I have taken on.

I really need the energy and drive to get my kids to bed at a decent time when I start to burn out at the end of the day. I really need to know that I can have some time to reconnect and decompress at the end of the day, without staying up into the wee hours of the morning and wearing myself down.

I really need the ability and the will to finish things that I start, to clear things up when I am done with them to avoid intimidating, stress triggering piles of “how will I ever get through that?” so I don’t have to worry so much about the necessary messes of play and of life.

And I really need the patience and the presence of mind to clear up the extra at the end of the day so we can have a fresh start each morning. To notice what is working and what isn’t so I can respond accordingly and keep everyone’s needs met and everyone feeling taken care of and loved.

I didn’t really know how to achieve all of that without pushing so hard.

And all the things I now suspect I am being asked to let go of, are all things I thought were really important to help me get through this next challenge of keeping on top of everything I was before with yet another little person in the mix.

And it just doesn’t seem fair.

And now I wonder just what lessons this little one will lead me to, as I think of all I’ve learned and worked on in preparation for her arrival already.

This next part might be very hard, before she even comes. Her early days might be a relief or they might be the thing that breaks me right down. I’m not so sure those hard breaks are such a bad thing, now…

Because apparently I don’t really know yet how to pace myself, when to let go and how to prioritize. I know I’ve made leaps and bounds with that just recently, but…

Here I am now, very pregnant, tired and sore and feeling quite helpless and frustrated. And life just goes along anyway. Somehow we eat and play and fight and make up and love and go to sleep anyway.

I guess I can relax into that for now, but I really hope that I have truly learned from the work I’ve been recently practicing, and that it won’t be that hard to pick up again once my body and my mind have recovered.

And I hope that letting things spiral just a little out of control in the meantime won’t make me feel like a failure anymore.


Studying the magic of compassion,

I grant myself grace

And I keep all of my worries

In a secret hiding place

But sometimes, they build up a bit too much

And I must sort through

And weigh each mix of feelings

And sift out illusion from the truth.

I’ve been parenting myself so much,

My kids can benefit, too.

I’ve mastered cleaning up after myself,

But still there’s more to do.

I’m trying to stay aware of what’s most pressing,

Make the most of time,

And trust that my best is enough

To sail through snags and come out fine.

And I have found some new success

With things I once did struggle with,

But still a fear clings deep inside

That if I stumble or I slip,

Or if I rest a bit too long

Or cut myself too much slack,

That all I’ve built will tumble down

And knock me off my fresh laid track.

And it’s easy to feel lonely, now,

Or like I haven’t time for much,

But I feel a growing urge deep down

To soothe myself and keep in touch.

So much pressure I’ve applied,

Such a fire I’ve lit under me,

I’m not sure what will be left

If I’m not pushing myself forcefully.

But I’ve been studying compassion,

And I grant myself grace.

And I’ve completed much already,

And this was never meant to be a race.