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Hunkering Down

July-86

Our first real summer with Alba has been much different than I imagined. Last summer revolved around two hour increments of napping, bottles, nursing, and pumping. This summer, we were going to get outside … play … enjoy our rhythm that we’ve earned over the last 19 months. This was also the summer I was going to watch my friends with their little babies … Approximately 7,372 of my dear friends had babies this year, and it was going to be my time to spoil them rotten, and relieve their aching mama arms and backs. Maybe even wash some dishes for them.

In many ways, the summer has panned out in a really lovely way … We got to visit the coast with our best friends, we’ve had some pretty great adventures around Oregon, and have invested time in our garden. Our tomatoes are finally ripening (even though the rest of our yard is completely dead). We’re even planning a trip back to Indiana in a few short weeks.

Then, in other ways, this summer has been shit. Starting 4 months ago, I started getting terrible allergy attacks. I’ve spent the entire summer (like, since April/May) with cold symptoms, and eczema around my eyes. I cut out gluten for awhile (aka, my life blood), which seemed to help, but also made life a lot more complicated. Alba and I have been playing hot potato with different fevers, colds and viruses for months. Oh, and it’s the hottest summer on record for Portland, which makes outside time pretty miserable. I’ve had to cancel more plans than I can even remember, which isn’t in my character … hello anxiety & guilty feelings. I’m currently working my way through an upper respiratory flu, ear infection, and Lord knows what else that’s causing a general “I hate life” week. Of course, all of this is made worse just by knowing that I have work to do, Al is missing school that we’re paying for, and that J and I just don’t get to do the things we’ve planned.

I’m working on a post called, “Summer Skin” where I plan to share some of the beautiful moments from the summer … The day I realized Alba had a white ring in the roll between her arm & hand, my heart exploded. Baby girl was in it … in the summer sun, enjoying it! She even has her first three freckles. Be still my heart. And me? I seem to still have trouble reminding myself that being a mom & working full time is a lot of work. SO. MUCH. WORK. Even with these setbacks and bummer weeks, I am working hard, and doing my best at what matters most: raising Alba with love.

My mantra as of late is, this is just a season … Eventually, Al’s illnesses from school will decrease … I’ll be able to make plans, and keep them, without fear of catching (and sharing) the next random bug … The heat will give way to cooler air, and we’ll be able to really enjoy our time outside — I mean really, 101 is way too hot! … Soon, I’ll be able to support my friends with a healthy/happy heart, instead of avoiding them at the risk of being a total downer.

Okay, off to help Alba fix her dinosaur necklace. Remembering that these days really belong to her, and if a dinosaur necklace means our week is one more step in a positive direction, then that’s what we’ll work on.

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