Tag Archives: Freewrite

Winter Skin

November 5, 2013

kate and w

I don’t have many good sentences in me these days. I know they’re floating around there somewhere, but even when I find one, it’s broken into fragments and full of misspellings and the wrong you’re. The other day I sat down to write and ended up with a paragraph full of literallys, which was horrifying because if there’s one girl I never want to be, it’s the girl who overuses literally.

Some might call this typical writer’s block, but I know it’s more than that. The baby has taken over all my physical and mental space. She sits heavy on my pelvis and even though I randomly have a thought about why women shouldn’t bully each other into wearing uncomfortable shoes, I cannot translate it into anything worth reading because the rest of my brain is thinking about if I sneeze, I may have to change my underpants.

The end of pregnancy is consuming. The more I try not to write or talk about it, the more it seeps out of my pores and turns into a lot of complaining about not fitting in doorways. I know this can be frustrating for everyone else.

They say you should write what you know, and even though I know life beyond pregnancy–I cannot fathom it now. All I can do today is listen to emotionally draining Christmas music and quietly sob thinking about fresh babies and my son’s face and perineal tearing. This is my unavoidable truth. Sorry old self, maybe I’ll see you again in a few months when I come out of a coma and remember some jeans have buttons.

In the meantime I’ll be listening to Lo, How A Rose Ere Blooming and feeling all the feelings.

To be clear, Austin doesn’t believe in Christmas music this early and normally I don’t either–but this year is different. My winter skin is growing around a baby who is arriving in the middle of jingle bells and batman smells and the hauntingly beautiful works of Sufjan Stevens.  I cannot look away. I cannot stop listening. I press all the sore spots just to feel it all.

Last December, a very sad boy took the life of many children and a few teachers in the second deadliest shooting by a single person in American history. I think of these babies as we approach Christmas. I think of those mamas and daddys who aren’t buying presents and who don’t want to look at Christmas trees or decorate cookies. I think of them and am ashamed by my insignificant grief. Their loss so far surprasses anything I’ve ever known, and yet I can’t help from weeping.

The joy Christmas brings is so often mixed with sorrow. Under all the twinkle lights, there is a deep and raw emotion. It is unavoidable. We await the highs with so much anticipation, but for all those highs there are also lows. The all consuming feeling of being human.

And so we take deep breaths as we grow our winter skins and winter babies.

December will find us quickly, and my prayer is that in all her beauty, we also let ourselves feel the grief.

There is no other month when we feel so alive.

***