Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Weight of Water

I love the water. I always have. I love to take baths. I take extra long showers whenever I can. I love to swim.

My love for water has been passed down to my daughter. My husband and I were talking at the pool earlier today that he enjoys the water, but not as much as me. He might be right. I really do love it.

I so enjoy the feeling of being weightless. Fighting every calorie I have ever seen since I can remember has made me have so many negative feelings about my body. Except for in the water. In the water, I am not any size or shape. I am just free.

I love the feeling of being a part of something that is bigger than me. Something that makes me feel small.

Indoor pool or outdoor pool - ocean or lake or cranberry bog, I love it all.

We just signed Miranda up for swim lessons. She can hold her own in the water, but I want better for her. I want more for her - in the water and out.

Being a mom is kind of like floating in water. You are constantly fighting to keep your head above water. You know how sweet the air will be in your lungs if you can just keep your head up. Kick and swim and paddle and repeat.

I want so desperately to make sure my daughter knows no pain or heartache or suffering, but I know that experiencing all of those things is going to make her a strong woman. So I just have to let her learn certain things on her own.

Life with a four-year-old is not easy. My daughter is stubborn and headstrong and as defiant as we will allow her to be. Every night at bedtime, we battle to go to sleep. This has been going on for almost half her life. We encourage her to find her voice, but often times, it seems like we are drowning, just trying to keep it all together.

In the months after Allie died, I found it hard to sit still with my thoughts. Self-loathing, self pity, and overall selfish thoughts seemed to seep into my everyday psyche. But not when I drew myself a warm bath. The negative thoughts could not find me there in my safe place. Eventually, the water just washed them all away.

Yesterday, Miranda asked to see a photo of Allie for the first time. I think she is starting to understand her a little bit more. Miranda still says she is my only daughter and my only baby and I try not to correct her too much, as she is still so young and I want her learning about her sister to be gentle and gradual and not a punch to the gut. So I showed her an ultrasound picture that we have framed in my office. She said it was too hard to see. She didn't like it. The only other photos I have of her are when she was born, red lips due to lack of oxygen and a still and silent look on her face. I will share those photos with Miranda one day, but not for a long time to come. For now, she has to make due with the black and white computer image.

It's sad. It makes me sad. But I love that Miranda wants to learn more, and I love that I can talk with her about the baby that first made me a mom.

I needed the pool today. It washed away all my pain. I am looking forward to going again soon.

 

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