Tuesday, September 29, 2015

M is for Mamma

Our bambino has started to point out letters. He can find the letter "O," one of our nicknames for him, on stop signs as we drive to daycare. We've started to add in "M" for Mamma and "D" for Daddy. He can mostly sing the ABC song - while humming the parts he forgets the same way I sing most popular songs.

These are the first building blocks to reading and writing. I'm so tickled to be a part of his journey. As for adding more letters to find in his surroundings, he's been taken with this recent library book find:

Monday, September 14, 2015

Writerly Tattoo? No, C-Section Scar

I've always wanted a tattoo. At each milestone, starting with moving abroad in 1996, I'd look for the perfect physical reminder to commemorate the moment. Like most things we search for, I realized later that I already have it: my c-section scar.

A friend on Facebook posted that she wanted to get a tattoo of a typewriter. That sounded perfect for this Woman Mother Writer. I've always been held back, though, by the pain of getting the tattoo and the likelihood of being allergic to the ink, since I've always been quite the allergy-prone girl. So I pushed the thought aside.

Then I remembered that I do have physical reminders of one particular achievement. In addition to the scars and calluses from living life, I have a cesarean section scar from giving birth. That thick line across my abdomen that pauses and then starts up as a thin line before fading away was our son's entry point into our dry world.

When I see our bambino, over two years old and his own person, I don't always remember the fact that I carried him. But the c-section scar is my private reminder of the moment our son emerged, squinting in the bright light and listening for our voices.

With time, the scar reminds me less of the difficulty of pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum depression I suffered afterwards, but rather the achievements my family has made together. Time allows us to grow and shift as individuals and a family unit, rather than forget or live alone in the past.

Did you recently have a c-section? Here is helpful advice from the Mayo Clinic about how to care for yourself after the surgery. You might also enjoy this article from Fit Pregnancy about your scar.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Poetry in the Air: Wedding Poetry Ornaments

photo by Susan Brennan

A dear friend asked me to help create "poetry ornaments" to hang on the trees outside her Austin wedding ceremony this weekend. She emailed her friends and invited them to submit poems, original or written by someone else. My mom and I printed them on heavy card stock, punched a hole in the corners and then another friend hung them up the day of the wedding with blue ribbon. Additional poems were spread on the dinner tables inside the tent.

The end result was beautiful. Poetry was in the air, blowing in the breeze, and feeding us. Guests stopped to read the poems in groups and alone.

Some of the friends who submitted poems wrote original poetry for the brides. What a tribute to a beautiful couple starting this new journey surrounded by love, family, friends and poetry.

Here are a few of my favorites from the published poems chosen by friends:
Jane Hirshfield's A Blessing for Wedding
Audre Lorde's Recreation
Li-Young Lee's The Weight of Sweetness
Michael Ondaatje's Cinnamon Peeler

What are your favorite poems celebrating love?