I baked up a storm and the breads and granolas are stealthily disappearing. I caught up with laundry and organized closets, the next cycle is already starting to pile itself up with clothes rapidly throwing themselves into disarray. I organized all the toys, puzzles, and books in the basement and just when I turned away, it seems they grew feet and started clambering out of the neat shelves spilling over the basement floor into the living room and bedrooms.
Every time, I take a deep breath and feel like I am ready to welcome my third baby into this world, I turn around and there are a multitude of last minute tasks that need to be taken care of. Those tiny little details that are supposed to make their world just right.
Our world, this small tiny microcosm that I can exert some sense of order and peace into. I turn away from the larger chaos for now. I can’t handle any existential questions on the nature of evil and how we can bear to bring new life into a space where everything is eventually meant to die. This utterly small glimpse we are given into existence, just enough of a pause to mutter “Ah!” at our own insignificance (if we are lucky enough to come to that realization.) This tiny glimpse into heartbreaking chaos, loss and death that sends mothers down unknown paths seeking a little meaning and a small chance to maybe even breathe beauty for the sake of nurturing life.
I see many horizons and each one is etched with a little arm waving goodbye. Yet my gaze is constantly dragged back to the present. Here we are, still bound together. Possibly the closest we will ever be. You, in my womb ready to be ushered into this small little world I am painstakingly holding together for you and by and by into the many worlds awaiting you. You, in my womb, without a face or name, yet your movements alone have have opened me wide to both longing and awe. I let my gaze linger on the horizons of loss, only because this much loving can be unbearable at times.
Come, come my little one and let’s marvel at each others existence. I am waiting and hopeful, yet still savoring these last few moments we have intertwined in each others bloodstreams.
Your welcome is our first goodbye.
Maliha Balala lives in Maryland and adores mommying her two boys, reading, running in pretty places (okay more like jogging!), writing and daydreaming of all the things she still wants to do when she grows up.
(originally posted January 5, 2012)