when i went through grief therapy after earl died i totally sucked at the whole guided imagery thing. i mean sucked. big time. i was plagued by childhood memories of wishing i had a special place and feeling sorry for myself because i didn’t. (these feelings, i should note, usually came to me when i was in some kind of wonderful place. if i took a shortcut to my piano teacher’s house, for example, i could cut through an undeveloped forested area with a stream meandering through it. i took this short cut all the time, sat by the stream, and wondered why i didn’t feel the ecstasy of having a beautiful place all to myself.)

as an adult in therapy, all i could was imagine how much better i would feel if i could find the absolutely perfect image. so i would try to conjure my ideal of that image, and that would leave me feeling wholly inadequate for not already having such an image. never mind all the natural beauty i already had available to me.  {sigh.}

but one day it clicked for me. i wasn’t trying to find one real place. instead, i just relaxed. and i saw myself in a small empty room bathed in a honey-golden light, the kind that comes from gorgeously-stained old pine floors. i was sitting in rocking in a chair holding a baby wrapped in a green blanket. even today, more than two years later, i can conjure that image and immediately be washed in peaceful feelings.

but back then, that image triggered for me a new knitting project. i found some luxuriously soft, spring-green yarn in a cashmere/wool blend and starting knitting a complicated baby blanket in a cabled-entrelac pattern. i started the blanket before i was even pregnant. and i finished it in time to wrap m in it at the hospital.

nothing i’ve knitted since then has brought me that sense of peace and overwhelming love. i have knitted any number of things, including the sweetest little hat for ruby, but i have neither started nor completed a project that felt right — right — in my bones. today, though, i stopped in a yarn store to buy a knitting book for my 11-year old niece. i paused by a softly-hued yarn display and was suddenly relaxed and happy: the feeling was back.

i’m not pregnant, and i don’t have a project in mind. but it is so clearly time to browse the yarn aisles and baby patterns. it’s time to curl up, relax, and dream of what can maybe be.


“The Buddhists believe that babies lost before they live are souls that have already taken many turns on this earth, and they have already endured all the suffering they needed to. They merely needed to touch on this earth one last time long enough to be loved, and they get to stop being reincarnated and go straight to Nirvana. I love that. I love the idea of my boys in Nirvana. I hope they are happy.”

thanks cecily!

mairin is one of eight cousins, ranging in age from 5 months (her fave, baby e) to 15 years (her least fave, cousin l, a tall kid whose height really scares her). throw all those kids in a room with a wii and let the fun begin.

which is to say, it’s been a crazy weekend.

last night i brought m home early because she kept climbing in my lap and squirming and crying, which didn’t annoy me until it began to interfere with my focus on my glass of wine . when m and i got home we put on jammies and brushed our teeth, climbed into the big bed in our room, and cuddled while she drank her bottle and fondled her bellybutton. when she was done she handed me her bottle and sank a little further into the bed.

but she didn’t close her eyes.

usually at bedtime m finishes her bottle she hands it to me, then rolls over and goes to sleep; a few minutes later i carry her into her crib. but last night she lay next to me, eyes wide open, slowly looking around the room. when it was clear to me she wasn’t going to go to sleep anytime soon i started talking to her quietly about her day. i reminded her of the games she’d played, the people she’d seen, how much fun she’d had. as i was talking she turned toward me and smiled that all-heart smile that every toddler reserves for just the right moment to melt a grown-up’s heart.

feeling all gooey and melty myself, i smiled back, kissed her on the top of her head, and kept talking. i told her what a good girl she was. her smile got bigger. i told her that she is my favorite 15-month-old. her smile got a little bit bigger. i told her i love her. she lifted her head a little more and then slowly started to nod.

yes mama, you love me.

tertia talked last week about the incredible feeling that is mommy-love — the all-encompassing affection and devotion that parents feel towards their kids. i love that feeling. love love love it. that feeling is my addiction: i love loving these little people. it makes me bigger and more spacious — my heart has a room in it for each daughter, and each room is its own little big sky country.

what more can a girl ask for?